Project #5152

Identifying Service Line Materials without Excavation: Distinguishing LSLs from Non-LSLs

In Progress
Principal Investigator
Research Manager
Jian Zhang, PE, Ph.D.
Cornwell Engineering Group
Lead & Copper


Many drinking water utilities are conducting lead service line replacements to safeguard public health. However, lead service lines (LSLs) cannot be replaced until their locations are identified. There is a need for commercially available rapid, user-friendly, and cost-effective technologies to accurately identify LSLs without excavation. This project will test three innovative and non-invasive detection platforms (acoustic monitoring, x-ray diffraction/fluorescence, and stress wave propagation/attenuation) to perform buried service line characterization in blind trials using a pipe farm testing facility, followed by field testing in collaboration with six water utilities. Research partners: American Water, Aqua America, Aquarion Water Company, DC Water, Greater Cincinnati Water Works, and Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority.