On Thursday, August 4, 2022 EPA released guidance for communities and water utilities to help identify lead pipes that connect drinking water service to homes and other buildings and to develop and maintain inventories of these service lines. This action marks a key milestone in implementing the Lead Pipe and Paint Action Plan and it will help water systems comply with the requirements of the Lead and Copper Rule Revisions (LCRR) that went into effect in December 2021. EPA is harmonizing regulatory requirements with unprecedented funding through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to make rapid progress on removing harmful lead from America’s drinking water. The LCRR requires water systems to prepare and maintain an inventory of service line materials by October 16, 2024. This new Guidance will assist water systems in developing and maintaining service line inventories and will provide states with needed information for oversight and reporting to EPA.
Specifically, EPA Lead Service Line Inventory guidance:
- Provides best practices for inventory development and communicating information to the public.
- Includes a template for water systems, states, and Tribes to use or adapt to create their own inventory.
- Contains case studies on developing, reviewing, and communicating about inventories.
- Highlights the importance of prioritizing inventory development in disadvantaged communities and where children live and play.
This Guidance will also provide water utilities with information to develop lead pipe replacement projects. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) provides $15 billion for lead service line replacement through the Drinking Water State Revolving Funds (DWSRF). BIL funding can be used for lead service line replacement projects and associated activities directly connected to the identification, planning, design, and replacement of lead service lines, including development of service line inventories themselves.
EPA will hold a webinar on the service line inventory guidance as well as service line replacement eligibilities under DWSRF and BIL. The webinar is currently planned for August 10 and information on the webinar is posted here.
Patti Kay Wisniewski
Drinking Water Preparedness and Resiliency Coordinator
US EPA Region 3