Frequently Asked Questions
The different colors on the map reflect the known or likely material of the water service lines at different addresses in Flint, Michigan.
The text box on the left side of the map shows what each color means.
At addresses where a water service line has already been inspected and/or replaced, the materials of the current service lines are either “known copper” or “known lead or galvanized steel”. In the non-colorblind version of the map, an address is dark green if it has a water service line that is known to be copper. An address is red if its water service line is known to be lead or galvanized steel.
At addresses where water service line inspection and/or replacement has not yet occurred, we used a mathematical model to estimate how likely each address is to have a lead or galvanized steel water service line. These addresses are shown by different colors on the map. Light green means the address has a low likelihood of having a lead or galvanized steel service line. Yellow means the address has a medium likelihood of having a lead or galvanized steel service line. Orange means the address has a high likelihood of having a lead or galvanized steel service line.
At addresses where we were unable to verify an active water account with the City of Flint Water Department in March, 2019, we cannot display any water service line material information. These locations are shown on the map as grey.
For the colorblind version of the map, please see the text box on the left side of the map for an explanation of the different map colors.
You can learn about what you can do to protect yourself and your family from lead exposure at the links below:
Flint Registry: What can I do about lead in my drinking water?
Clean Water Action: Lead and Drinking Water
NSF International: Guide to Choosing a Certified Lead Filtration Device
Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention
Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA): Lead in Drinking Water
US EPA: Reduce Your Exposure to Lead in Drinking Water at Home
US EPA: Protect Your Family from Exposures to Lead
For an address that hasn't had its water service line (pipe) inspected or replaced yet, a mathematical model was used to predict whether the water service lines at these addresses might be made of lead or galvanized steel. This model was developed by Dr. Jacob Abernethy of Georgia Tech University and Dr. Eric Schwartz of the University of Michigan. It uses information about a home, including the year the home was built, the neighborhood, and any available historical records of water service line materials. Based on this information, the model assesses whether the home has a low, medium, or high likelihood of having a lead or galvanized steel water service line. Drs. Abernethy and Schwartz and their associates published a detailed description of the model in a recent article.
A mathematical model uses information that is known to help make a prediction about something that is not known with certainty. In the model that Dr. Abernethy and Dr. Schwartz developed for Flint, the known information includes things like the year a home was built and a home’s neighborhood. This information was used to predict the home’s water service line material, which is not known unless the line has been inspected and/or replaced.
The City of Flint does not provide the estimated replacement dates for individual homes, but the City intends to visit all remaining homes with active water accounts in 2020. For more information, please visit the City’s Flint Pipe Replacement Program website. Any resident who had an active water account in March 2017 or who has activated a new water account since March 2017 is eligible to have their service line replaced by the City for free, but to get a free water service line inspection and replacement, you must give the City of Flint permission to inspect your water service lines. You can access a form to give the City permission to replace your service line by clicking here or you can opt in by calling 810-232-2558. You can check whether the City has permission to inspect your water service lines by clicking here.
If you live in Flint but you cannot find your address, first check that you’ve entered your address correctly in the search tool. If your address is correct but you still cannot find your home on the map, try using the navigation buttons (the + and – on the lower right hand of the map) to locate your address.
We update the map whenever the City of Flint provides an updated list of homes with water service lines that have been inspected and/or replaced (approximately every month). As we get this information from the City, we also update our predictions for homes where the water service line material is not yet known. Our information about addresses with active water accounts is based on information last updated in July, 2020.
The water service line (also called a “pipe”) that connects a home to the public water main pipe usually has two parts, a “public” portion
and a “private” portion. The “public” portion runs from the city water main (located under the street) to the property line, where an
individual’s private property begins. The “private” portion of the water service line runs from the private property line to the home. The
District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority has a helpful graphic that shows how the public and the private portions connect.
The public and the private portions of a water service line may be made of the same material, or they may be made of different materials. If either the public or the private portion of your water service line is made of lead or galvanized steel, then steps should be taken to reduce your exposure. Please see the links above to learn how to protect yourself and your family from exposure to lead or galvanized steel.
If the information about your home is incorrect or incomplete on the map, please contact us by filling out the form on our Contact page. Please indicate in your comment any helpful documents you have available to share with us. Thank you!
This map provides information about the known or likely material of the water service lines at different addresses in Flint, Michigan. It
is intended to share up-to-date water service line information with the citizens of Flint. The map includes information gathered by the
City of Flint during water line inspections and/or replacements. At residential addresses where the City has not yet inspected the water
service lines, the map indicates the likelihood of lead or galvanized steel service lines based on mathematical modeling by Dr. Jacob
Abernethy and Dr. Eric Schwartz. The map website was built and is maintained by Jared Webb. Dr. Stacy Woods of the Natural Resources
Defense Council collaborated on the map and site design.
Dr. Jacob Abernethy and Dr. Eric Schwartz and their affiliates do not guarantee the accuracy of the information contained in the Flint Water Service Line Materials Map or otherwise represent that the map is accurate. The Flint Water Service Line Materials Map shall be used for the sole purpose of providing Flint residents with the best available data regarding their water service lines, and not for any commercial, legal, or other use. Dr. Jacob Abernethy and Dr. Eric Schwartz reserve the right to alter, amend, or terminate at any time the display of the Flint Water Service Line Materials Map.
The map displays the known or likely materials of the water service lines at locations where we were able to verify an active residential
water account with the City of Flint Water Department in March, 2019. If we were unable to verify an active water account for an address,
that location is shown on the map as grey.
Any resident who had an active water account in March 2017 or who has activated a new water account since March 2017 is eligible to have their service line replaced by the City for free, but to get a free water service line inspection and replacement, you must give the City of Flint permission to inspect your water service lines. You can access a form to give the City permission to replace your service line by clicking here. You can check whether the City has permission to inspect your water service lines by clicking here.