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MLGW News Release
Lead Service Line Locations Q & A
May 18, 2016

How did MLGW become aware of the 16-year-old database?

In our continued discussions about locating and identifying lead service lines, a staffer noted the existence of the database, which was created to digitize archival records of water service line installations. Information from the archived records was entered into a database in 2001, but never verified.


How much of a problem is lead for Memphis’s water supply?

MLGW officials are aware of no evidence linking lead poisoning to MLGW’s drinking water. MLGW is committed to protecting the quality of our water service and uses an excellent corrosion control system to protect MLGW pipes. Lead paint remains the primary source of exposure in Memphis and across the nation.


How can customers check the database without the use of a computer?

Customers can call 544-6549 to see if their home address is in the database. Our Water Engineering Department will check the database and call the customer with the information.


MLGW has made it clear that the database information could be wrong. How reliable is it?

We’re not sure. The database was created about 16 years ago digitizing unverified information from archival records of MLGW’s predecessors from 1874 to 1940 that contain information related to installation. Given the age of the records, there could be homes that once had lead service lines but those lines were subsequently replaced, or are vacant lots where homes once stood, or instances where the material noted for the service line was incorrectly stated on the original record in the archive. In addition, some information may have been missing in the original records used to create the database. Errors will be a part of the database, even as we work to correct them. At the same time, the database provides a starting point for us to verify and identify where the water service lines may be lead.


Does the database mean that MLGW knows where all of the lead service lines are located?

No. It partially confirms what we have known, which is that some service lines made of lead will likely be found within and in the vicinity of the Parkways, where some of our oldest sections of the city are located. To that end, it provides a starting point to locate and verify these lines.