This simple App allows residents to determine whether the service line bringing drinking water to their homes is made of lead. The App can be accessed on a smartphone (iOS or Android), tablet or computer (PC or Mac) through http://tinyurl.com/LeadLineLocator
Using a combination of GIS-technology and crowdsourcing, this user-friendly App gives community members the ability to inform themselves, water utilities and local governments of the location of the service lines and whether they are made of lead.
The App is easy to use. The community member simply answers 2 questions about their water service line: Is it grey and shiny when scratched or scraped, and does a magnet stick to the service line? A third optional question asks whether a licensed plumber said the service line was made of lead. The answers to these questions along with the home address automatically builds a database and map of the respondent’s answers. The map showing locations of respondents is viewable through the App. A map on the website http:/www.LeadLineLocator.com will indicate of those locations, and which service lines were made of lead at the time the questions were answered. The website App will be reviewed on a monthly basis.
Dr. Charlotte Smith, UC Berkeley School of Public Health expects this App to be especially relevant for cities like Flint, Michigan where lead service lines are known to exist, but the water department doesn’t know where they are. Dr. Smith said that “Over time work records of service line installations get lost. This App puts the power of information into the citizen’s hands.”