Water Service Line Self Reporting Program


In an effort to ensure the safest, cleanest drinking water for our residents, the City of Westland is working on identifying service line materials (copper, galvanized steel, lead, plastic) throughout the water distribution system.

Per the 2018 amended Michigan Safe Drinking Water Act, public water systems in the State of Michigan are now required to maintain an inventory of service line materials in their distribution systems by January 1, 2025. Most water services will be copper or plastic pipe, but some may be galvanized steel or lead.

How You Can Help

The City of Westland is requesting your assistance to perform a few simple steps to identify the material of your water service between where it enters the building and the meter.  Using a magnet that can be picked up at Westland City Hall, 36300 Warren Rd, during normal business hours, please follow these easy steps to determine the material of your water service.

water testing location

Identifying Your Water Service Material:

  1. Find the water meter in your basement, crawlspace, or garage. It should look similar to the image shown above. You will be testing your pipe between where it enters the building and the meter and between the meter and your house plumbing.
  2. Scratch the pipe (similar to a lottery ticket) with a key or coin. If pipe is painted, use sandpaper to expose the metal. If the color underneath is orange, your pipe is copper. If your pipe is copper or plastic, fill out and return the enclosed pre-paid postcard, or online form to the City. If the scratch turns to a shiny silver color, the pipe could be lead or steel. Proceed to Step 3. (Note: Do not use a sharper object, such as a knife and be sure to not create a hole in the pipe.)
  3. Place magnet on the pipe.  
    1. If the magnet attracts, it is a steel pipe.  
    2. If the magnet does not attract and is a shiny silver color, it is a lead pipe.  
    3. If the magnet does not attract and is a coppery color, it is a copper pipe.
    4. If the pipe is blue and joined to a water supply and made of plastic, it is a plastic pipe.
  4. Complete the Water Service Self-Reporting Form, indicating the material of your service line between where it enters the building and the water meter and between the water meter and your house plumbing. 

What to Do if You Have Lead Pipes

Please immediately contact the Department of Public Service by phone or email so that the City of Westland can verify your findings and replace the service pipes at no cost to you.  Per the 2018 Michigan Lead and Copper Rule, these lines must be replaced by 2040.  With your help, we are working on creating a complete water service line inventory of known lead service lines so we ask for your patience as we determine a detailed schedule for replacement of any found service lines.

What to do before your lead service line is replaced:

  • Your water that you received from the Great Lakes Water Authority contains a corrosion inhibitor which coats the inside of the pipes which significantly reduces the possibility of lead dissolving into your water.
  • Run your cold water for at least five minutes to flush water from your plumbing and service line to insure the fresh water that has not been sitting in your service line and plumbing.
  • Consider using a water filter and clean your faucet aerator every six months.