Happening Now

The Environmental Protection Agency now requires all drinking water utilities to have a service line inventory of both the customer and utility side of the water meter. The customer side of the service line is the water line that connects your home from the water meter to the home/business on the customer’s property. The utility side of the service line connects the water main in the street to the water meter.  The City of Asheville is conducting a survey of all customer homes/businesses to meet this requirement. 


What can you do?

Participate in the City of Asheville Service Line Survey

The City of Asheville Water Department’s goal is to have a complete and accurate water service line inventory as soon as possible, and we cannot do this without customer participation.  

Please see the diagram below to understand what a service line is.

drawing showing water line in three sections

We are asking for your help to determine the material on the privately-owned (customer) side of the service line. If you already know what your service line material is, please go to option 1 below.  If you do not, that’s ok, there are two easy ways to determine your service line material.  It only involves going into your basement or crawl space to see what type of pipe is entering your home.  We have a quick video that can help determine where the service line enters the home and the type of material.  

Option 1If you already know what material your service line is, please select the link for option 1 to fill out a quick survey.  Link to survey here.  A picture of the service line where it enters the home is needed to fill out the survey. If you are unable to provide a picture, an appointment can be requested. See contact information at the bottom of this page.

Option 2Watch the video to determine your service line material.  Once you have determined your material, please click on the survey link to enter your information. Link to survey here. A picture of the service line where it enters the home is needed to fill out the survey. If you are unable to provide a picture, an appointment can be requested. See contact information at the bottom of this page.


Option 3 – Still not sure? Sign up for an appointment and water department staff can visit your home to see where your water line enters the basement or crawl space of your home or business. Link to request appointment here (choose from first drop down).

City of Asheville Drinking Water Service Line Inventory Dashboard

Click this link to find your service line material. Currently, we have many unknown materials on both the private customer-owned side and the public utility-owned side. We urge you to participate in the survey to help us build a better and more accurate inventory. Please use the links above to let us know your service line material. You can also schedule an appointment using the survey as well.


Steps you can take to reduce your exposure to lead in your drinking water

Steps Reason

Run your water to flush out lead.

If water has not been used for several hours, run water for at least 15-30 seconds or until it becomes cold or reaches a steady temperature before using it for drinking or cooking. Note: You may want to capture the initial running water for uses or then drinking or cooking, such as for watering plants.  

Regularly clean faucet aerators (screens).

Removes particulate matter that may contain lead.

Use cold water for cooking and preparing baby formula.

Lead dissolves more easily into hot water.

Do not boil water to remove lead.

Boiling water will not reduce lead, it will actually increase the concentration.  

Use a water filter that is approved to remove lead from drinking water.

To be sure the filter is approved to remove lead, you can call nsf at 1-800-NSF-8010 or visit www.nsf.org for performance standard on water filters.

Test your water for lead.

Call us at 828-259-5962 or send email to leadprevention@ashevillenc.gov to request to test your water for lead. It is free to any City of Asheville water customer.

Get your child tested.

Contact Buncombe County Health Department or your child care provider to test your child(ren) for lead if you are concerned about lead exposure.

Identify if your plumbing fixtures contain lead (replace if necessary).

Brass faucets, fittings, and valves including those advertised as “lead free,” may contribute lead to drinking water.  The law currently allows end-use fixtures, such as faucets, with wetted surfaces containing a maximum weighted average of 0.25% lead to be labeled as “lead-free.” Note: Prior to January 4, 2014, fixtures could contain up to 8% lead and be labeled as “lead-free.” Visit the NSF website at www.nsf.org to learn more about lead containing plumbing fixtures.


The City strives to ensure clean water

The City of Asheville’s water has consistently been verified as clean, and these new regulations should not be cause for concern among our community. Customers may be impacted by construction, water quality sampling, and/or remediation practices, throughout the implementation of the revision. The City of Asheville is dedicated to providing proactive communication and transparency throughout the inventory and survey process.

Read frequently asked questions here.

Compliance Manager, Brenna Cook, talks about lead and copper in a radio interview on What’s Up Avl. Click here to listen.




The City of Asheville has monitored its system for lead and copper by random sampling since 1997 and has never found a significant issue. As a best practice, Asheville Water Resources treats its drinking water by adjusting the pH to a neutral level and adding other chemicals to create a barrier between the pipe and the water. This treatment process reduces the corrosion in water lines and household plumbing. The City of Asheville’s water has consistently exceeded EPA water quality standards as reported in this Asheville Water Quality Report.

Lead Health Effects

Lead can cause damage to the brain and kidneys in adults. In children under 7, it can slow development, potentially causing learning problems. For this reason, use of lead-containing solder, service lines, and plumbing components were banned in the U.S. in 1986. However, they remain in portions of the country’s drinking water infrastructure, which largely pre-dates the ban. These metals are typically found in older water systems installed in northern cities.

In 1991, the EPA published a regulation to control lead and copper in drinking water. This regulation is known as the Lead and Copper Rule (also referred to as LCR). Although LCR has resulted in reductions in lead in drinking water, the EPA recently approved comprehensive revisions to the rule to strengthen its public health protections and clarify its implementation requirements. Since early 2019, the City of Asheville has been anticipating these changes and developing a strategy to implement new regulations.

To learn more about the health effects of lead, please visit the EPA’s website.



March 16, 2021 -The EPA’s final rule became effective and extends a 3-year period in which utilities like the City of Asheville’s Water Resources Department are required to take any needed measures to meet the updated compliance standards. The new changes in the rule will be implemented by January 2024.


Lead and Copper Rule Sampling

June 2021 – September of 2021 – Routine compliance sampling of customer homes will take place.  Kits were mailed out to customers in late May 2021. These are the same homes that have been in the City’s sampling pool since 1992 that meet the plumbing material requirements per the initial LCR.

January 2024 – December 2024 – Water customers whose homes meet the new LCRR Tier level requirements will be contacted to participate in the compliance lead and copper sampling. 


Elementary School and Daycare Lead Sampling

April 2021 – Began contacting City of Asheville and Buncombe County Elementary Schools and Licensed Daycare Facilities to establish sampling plans and provide staff training for proper sample collection. 

January 2024 –  December 2028  Each elementary school and daycare will be sampled during this time period. Sample results will be posted on the City of Asheville Website. Sampling for lead is not required at middle schools or high schools, but any school that requests that their water be tested, the City will collect samples and post results. 

Results will be provided to customers, schools and daycare providers within 72 hours of the receipt of the results from our contract laboratory.   


Service Line Inventory Preparation

October 2020 – Present – Work crews are documenting the service line materials on both the customer and utility sides of the meter during routine repairs and neighborhood enhancement projects to prepare for the new Service Line Inventory required for the Lead & Copper Rule Revisions (LCRR).  

Fall 2021 – Using 120Water Lead Probability Finder, water customers who meet the criteria will be sent a postcard kit with educational material about water lines in their household plumbing. The kit will have instructions on how to check your plumbing material. The card will have a URL code to scan with any smartphone camera allowing customers to enter their household and service line data.  

Spring 2022 – Contract crews will be potholing at 100 customer homes to determine service line materials.  Homes will be picked based on results from the probability finder database from 120Water.  This database criteria is age of home, results of known service line material, and other factors.  

Winter 2023 – An interactive dashboard will be available where customers can look up their address to check the service line material on the private or utility side of the meter.  If the status is unknown, we ask that customers call 828-259-5962 to learn how they can update the map.  All sampling results from schools and daycares will be available on the dashboard.  


Supporting Documents

Frequently Asked Questions

Infographic – Improving Lead Sampling to Better Protect Public Health

EPA Final Revisions to the Lead and Copper Rule

120Water’s Digital Water Platform Keeps Utilities Compliant Amidst Massive Lead & Copper Rule Revisions

2016 article- Keeping Asheville’s water supply safe: Testing, constant monitoring are key

Contact Information

Brenna Cook – Compliance Manager





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The Water Resources Department (WRD) provides drinking water to Asheville and the surrounding areas. WRD owns and operates three drinking water treatment plants, and maintains over 1700 miles of water lines in the distribution system. We’re working for you!   To receive emergency texts directly from Buncombe County for breaking health and safety news text BCALERT on your [...]