District Headquarters

50 Elm St., Dedham, MA 02026

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After Hours Emergency:


Learn to Locate and Identify Your Water Service Line Video

Please Note: This video has closed captioning. To enable, click on the video and then click CC. 

Step By Step Instructions


Image of a house to show where a customers service line is located underground and connected to the water main. The photo has the following labeled: Above Ground: Street, sidewalk, house, and property boundary. Underground: water main, corporation stop, curb stop, service line, water service, and the water meter.

Look for where your water service enters your property. Most services enter through the lowest level of your property, up through the basement floor, or low along the foundation wall. Your water service will always be connected to the District’s water meter. 

Image of two copper water service lines entering the home. the service lines on both pictures are circled in red. There is an arrow pointing to the circled service line on both photos. The water services have pictures of water meters.

Your service may also be located in a crawl space or utility closet. Again, look for the District’s water meter. 

Identify Your Service

Once you have located your water service, you will need to determine your water service pipe material. 

You will need two items to help you identify your service material:

  • Magnet
  • Key, Coin, or Flathead Screwdriver

Follow These Steps to Identify Your Service:

  1. Start by testing your service line with the magnet. If the magnet sticks to the pipe, it is likely galvanized iron. To confirm it is galvanized iron, use your key, coin, or flathead screwdriver to scratch through any corrosion that may have built up on the outside of the pipe. DO NOT use a sharp object to perform the scratch test, and be careful not to puncture a hole in the pipe.

  2. If the pipe is black, blue, or white with lettering along the length of the pipe, it is most likely plastic. Plastic will not scratch easily and will not be magnetic.

  3. Copper is identifiable by its color, usually dull, oxidized green, or brown, and will shine like a new penny when scratched. Copper is not magnetic
  4. Lead pipe is very soft and will be easily scratched. If the scratching reveals a soft, dull, silver-gray color, and the pipe is not magnetic, it is likely lead.  
Graphic: Text: Dedham-Westwood Water District Water Service Line Inventory Project Kits Image of a blue bag with a DWWD seal. Image of a magnet with the District's logo. Image of a mini blue screwdriver. Text: Project kits, which include a magnet and mini screwdriver are available (while supplies last) to help customers identify their water service line material!

Complimentary Tool Kits are Available!

Project kits, which include a magnet and mini screwdriver, are available (while supplies last) to help customers identify their water service line material.

Kits can be found at the:

  • Dedham-Westwood Water District HQ, 50 Elm Street, Dedham

Also, a LIMITED Number of Kits Can be Found at the:

Please Call to Verify Availability Before Going to Collect a Kit!

  • Westwood Town Hall, Town Manager’s Office, 580 High Street
  • Westwood Health Department, 50 Carby Street
  • Westwood Council on Aging, 60 Nahatan Street
  • Westwood Main Library, 660 High Street
  • Dedham Town Hall, Town Manager’s Office, 450 Washington Street
  • Dedham Health Department, 450 Washington Street

Please Note:
Kits will be available while supplies last. 

Four Most Common Pipe Materials



  • Magnetic
  • Dull gray (may become rusty-looking due to oxidation)
  • Also known as iron or steal
Image of oxidized galvanized iron pipe. The pipe is dark and orange (rusted-looking).



  • Non-magnetic
  • New copper looks like a shiny new penny
  • Old copper will become shiny when scratched
  • May have a blue-green or brown-green discoloration due to oxidation
Image of a brown copper pipe. When scratched, it will shine like a new penny.


  • Non-magnetic
  • Usually blue or black or sometimes white
  • Also known as high-density polyethylene, polyvinyl chloride, or polyethylene pipe
Image of plastic water service line pipe. The piping has blue lettering on it that says: poly water service tubing.



  • Non-magnetic
  • Dull, silver-gray color
  • Soft and easily scratched
  • Scratched area becomes shiny like a new nickel
Image of a scratched lead pipe. When lead it scratched a dull silver-gray color appears (like this photo)
Image of a scratched lead pipe. When lead it scratched a dull silver-gray color appears (like this photo)

Submit Your Service Line Material


Click on the icon to submit your service line information. Or, click this link.

Have Questions or Need Assistance?

Contact the District during our routine business hours, Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.