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Check Your Line

How to find out if you have a lead service line

To find out if you have a copper, lead or galvanized steel service on your property, you (or your landlord) can perform a Materials Verification Test on the water service line where it connects to the water meter to determine the material of the water service line on your property.

Please follow the steps below, and then send the results of the test along with your address to twwleadprogram@trentonnj.org. Trenton Water Works will include your results in their water service line inventory records. A printable version of these instructions can be found here.


  • A house key or coin

  • A strong refrigerator magnet

Steps to Check Your Service Line

  1. Find the water meter on your property.

  2. Look for the pipe that comes through the outside wall of your home and connects to your meter. The test should be performed on the “upstream” side of the meter, or the pipe coming from the street.

  3. Use a key or coin to gently scratch the pipe (like you would scratch a lottery ticket). If the pipe is painted, use sandpaper to expose the metal first.

  4. Place the magnet on the pipe to see if it sticks to the pipe.

  5. Determine your pipe material and send your results and address to twwleadprogram@trentonnj.org or complete the Materials Survey online at www.twwleadprogram.com/survey.

Your Test Results

If your pipe is copper:
The pipe may appear dull brown on the outside but will be the color of a bright penny if gently scratched. A magnet WILL NOT stick to a copper pipe.


If your pipe is lead:
The pipe will appear dull and soft but will turn a shiny silver color when scratched.  A magnet WILL NOT stick to a lead pipe. 


If your pipe is galvanized steel:
The scratched area will remain a dull gray, and a magnet WILL stick to the surface.


Please send results of your test and your address to twwleadprogram@trentonnj.org or complete the Materials Survey:

Other ways you can check for lead

If your home was built before 1986, lead may also be present in indoor piping, solder, and fixtures.

Here are some other ways you can check for lead:

  • Lead test kits to test the pipe can be purchased at your local hardware store. Look for an EPA recognized kit.

  • A licensed and insured plumber can inspect your pipes and other plumbing for lead or steel. Replacing an older brass faucet or valve may be a simple way to reduce the lead in water.

  • Water sample test kits can be picked up at Trenton Water Works and then sent to a private lab to analyze your water. TWW is not responsible for the cost of the lab analysis.

If you have any questions, please contact us