In the United States, there are approximately 880,000 miles of pipe being used as water service lines, which are 0.75-2 inches in diameter and usually made of copper, polyethylene, polyvinyl chloride, polybutylene, and in some older systems lead, galvanized steel, and brass. Obviously lead lines must be removed and replaced. The three problems related to these lines include finding the service connection, re-establishing the service opening, and connecting the service to the carrier pipe. Many of the water problems existing in homes or facilities occur because of the service lines. The service line from the main line to the water meter is taken care of by the water company. The service line from the water meter to the house or other facility is the responsibility of the owner or operator of that home or facility.
Health Risks Associated with Pressure Transients in Water Distribution Systems
(See endnote 34)
Flooding is of special concern because if the air valve is open the contaminated water can enter the distribution system. Negative pressures can be created through power failure, main breaks, and flushing of the system. During any negative pressure event, chemicals of all types including pesticides, petroleum products, fertilizers, solvents, etc. can go through the soil and into the water distribution system. Microorganisms from various contaminating sources can do the same thing. This is compounded by leakage from the distribution system pipelines.