Anne Arundel County is the latest jurisdiction in Maryland to publish a map showing residents whether they need to check their home service lines for lead water pipes.

It’s not because officials think pipes have lead in them. It’s because federal law requires utilities to inventory lead pipes in home service lines.

“[T]he probability of finding lead in the County water system is low, with our water quality consistently remaining well above state and federal regulatory standards,” Anne Arundel County officials wrote on the county website.

The county has published an interactive map where residents can check by address whether they need to investigate their pipes. A similar map was published for Baltimore and Baltimore County in November.

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Anne Arundel County said on its website that it does not have any known service lines that are made of lead. Rather, there are buildings in the county that have service lines of an unknown material — those are the pipes that need to be self-tested.

County officials said approximately 6,000 properties need to be checked.

A screen grab of Anne Arundel County’s map that shows some properties that need to be tested and inventoried for lead pipes.

Experts say there is no safe amount of lead, especially for children. Last year, the Environmental Protection Agency estimated there are some 71,000 lead service lines in Maryland.

Testing a home service line is easy, and only takes a few minutes. In Baltimore, public works officials suggest using a magnet, a key and a camera to complete the test. Anne Arundel County has published an online guide on how to test a service line.

If a service line is found to have lead, Anne Arundel County will help flush out the line after replacement and provide follow-up sampling, the county’s website said.

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Anne Arundel County has not allowed lead in water service lines since 1936 and has been “actively replacing” lead pipes for “decades,” according to the county.

The county map does not appear to show any parts of the county more affected than others; Annapolis is not served by the county’s water lines so it is not on the county’s map.

Cody Boteler is a reporter on The Banner’s Express Desk, reporting on breaking news, trending stories and interesting things in and around Baltimore. His work has appeared in The Baltimore Sun, USA TODAY, Baltimore magazine and others.

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