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DC Water announced plans to work closely with the District government to implement a new lead service replacement program that offers free and discounted replacements of lead water service pipes on private property for thousands of homes across the city.
This program will be implemented once it is funded by the District, which is anticipated in October 2019.
The new program, approved by the D.C. Council and headed to Mayor Muriel Bowser for her signature, establishes a city-funded program to encourage the removal of lead service lines located on private property.
“This is a game-changer in terms of making significant progress towards removing all lead pipes from the water system,” said DC Water President David L. Gadis. “However, I would like to see us go even further. My hope is that we can move towards a plan where every inch of lead service line in the city is removed within the next 10 years. That is ambitious but it's achievable if we roll up our sleeves and work together.”
Under current law, DC Water is permitted to replace the portion of the lead water service line that lays buried within public space but not the portion that is on private property – the pipe that runs from the property line to the building.
The new bill does four things:
There are roughly 70 miles of lead service lines connecting homes to the public water mains in the District.
While in many cases lead water service lines may not pose any immediate hazard, the simple presence of lead pipes is a risk factor for lead exposure that DC Water has long encouraged homeowners to address.
Recently DC Water mailed letters to residential customers in homes with known lead service lines to encourage them to take advantage of DC Water’s existing Voluntary Lead Service Pipe Replacement program. DC Water has also created a service line map where customers can check to see what type of pipes connect their home to the water main.