Lead and Copper Service Line Inventory

The City of McAlester Utilities Department started to inventory and inspect all public and private service lines as part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Revised Lead and Copper Rule.

This nationwide initiative is crucial for ensuring the safety and quality of water throughout our system while taking a proactive measure to ensure compliance with EPA regulations. Customers will also be asked soon to complete a questionnaire that will provide valuable input to help focus our efforts in the process.

City crews are performing the inspections only on service lines and the inspections come at no cost. Inventory findings will be published by the EPA's deadline of October 16, 2024.

These enhanced regulations contribute to nationwide efforts to improve water quality and the City of McAlester is committed to providing cleaner and safer water for our community. We understand the significance of this endeavor and we appreciate everyone's understanding and cooperation throughout this process. 

Below are some frequently asked questions about the process:


Frequently Asked Questions

Why is this program being implemented?
Lead service lines are the largest source of lead in contact with drinking water. This inventory will help us identify where lines are located for replacement. 

The use of lead materials in plumbing was banned in 1986 under the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act, and while no large pipes (mains) within the City’s distribution system contain lead, it is possible that both public (City-owned) and private (homeowner-owned) service lines are made of lead, galvanized steel, or contain lead solder. 

This federal initiative aims to make rapid progress in improving water quality across America.
Does McAlester have lead in its water supply?
No. The water treated and delivered from our treatment plant does not contain lead. The most common source of lead is from public or private service lines. Service lines are the small-diameter lines that connect on either side of the water meter.

What causes lead in drinking water? 
Lead is typically only detected in water that has traveled through lead service lines, galvanized lines downstream from lead lines, or copper lines with lead solder, lead joints, or lead fittings. Such lines can corrode over time and small amounts of lead can leach into the water. Nationwide, lead lines are most common in homes or businesses built before 1945.

McAlester water quality operators help protect customers from the risk of lead corrosion by taking the following actions:
• controlling the pH levels of our water
• monitoring water in homes with known lead lines
• using treatment additives to inhibit corrosion

What is the difference between a private and public service line? 
A public service line is a line that connects the individual water meter to the water main located in the street or easement. It is the responsibility of the municipality or utility to manage and maintain. A private service line is the portion of the line that connects the water meter to a home or business. 

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