The federal Lead and Copper Rule, passed in 1991, required water systems to identify the materials used in their distribution system. Specifically, the water systems had to report whether lead, copper, galvanized, or ferrous piping or materials were present in the distribution system. The Portland Water Bureau’s materials inventory from 1994 is listed below.
1994 Summary of Pipe Materials in the Portland Distribution System
|Transmission, supply, and distribution mains||Steel/mortar-lined
|Service connectors (pigtails)||Lead (all removed by 1998)|
Portland has never used lead service lines. Service lines are the pipe that connects the drinking water mains in the streets to homes and buildings. Prior to 1940, lead pigtails, short 2 to 3 foot pipes connecting a galvanized service line to the main, were used on some homes. Portland finished removing all known pigtails from the system in 1998.
Additionally, the Water Bureau has worked to remove other sources of lead. From 2001 to 2008, the Water Bureau replaced large meters with lead components that serve water to at-risk populations. For more than ten years, all replacement meters have been lead-free.