Water Service Self Check

We are asking all Bethlehem Water customers to conduct a brief check of your water service line to determine its type.

It is important to understand that ownership of water service lines is shared between homeowners and the Bethlehem Water Department.  Bethlehem owns the line from the water main under the street to the “curb box” on your property line.  Customers are responsible for the line from the curb box to the water meter or main shut-off valve inside your home, as well as all of your home’s internal plumbing and fixtures.

Lead and Copper Rule - Service Line
Lead and Copper Rule - Survey Area

Step 1 – Find your Water Service
Locate the water service line coming into your home. This is typically found in the basement. An “inlet valve” and the water meter are installed on the pipe after the entry point. You can use the NPR guide to help find and identify your inside water service (https://apps.npr.org/find-lead-pipes-in-your-home/en/#intro).

Step 2 – Identify a Test Area
Identify a test/survey area on the pipe between the point where it comes into the residence and the inlet valve, see image above. If the pipe is covered or wrapped, expose a small area of metal.

Step 3 – Determine Pipe Material
Conduct the test by using the flat edge of a screw driver or other tool to lightly scratch the surface of the outside of the pipe. Caution - If the surface of the pipe is corroded, do not scratch through the corrosion. You may need a refrigerator magnet to complete the test. Use the illustrations below to help identify the type of service line coming into your home. Note: Some service lines may be plastic.  Plastic lines are typically white, black or blue in color and a magnet will not stick to a plastic pipe.

If you are having difficulty determining the type of pipe material, you can follow the steps from the NPR guide to help to identify your inside water service material (https://apps.npr.org/find-lead-pipes-in-your-home/en/#intro) or watch this YouTube video.

Step 4 – Take a Photo
To aid the Town in documenting this effort, we need a photograph showing the pipe as it comes through the basement wall. The photo should include the piping from the wall and the water meter. A representative photo is shown below.

Step 5 – Submit Your Results
Once you have the results, please return them to the Bethlehem Water Department by:

  1. Email your results to the following address:


Clicking this link will start an email back to us.
The email needs to include:
  • Owner Name:
  • Service Address:
  • Contact Phone Number
  • Pipe Material (Copper, Galvanized Steel, Plastic or Potential Lead)
  • Please remember to attach your photo!
  1. If you do not have Internet access or have any questions, please call the Water Department at (518) 439-4955 option 4.

Example of pipe photo

Service Line Scratch Tests

Sample email