Getting the lead pipes out

Posted at 3:30 p.m. on August 17, 2018

The Brillion News

MADISON – The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSCW) has approved the state’s first application to implement a new customer-side lead service line replacement program.

The program, outlined in 2017 Wisconsin Act 137, creates a new process by which a public water utility may provide a grant or loan to a property owner, to assist with the replacement of a lead-containing water service line.

This new program allows the use of utility rate revenue to assist customers in paying for the replacement of customer-owned lead service lines. While the replacement of most utility-owned  infrastructure containing lead generally does not require approval from the PSC, providing financial assistance to help customers replace their side of lead service lines does.

It is currently estimated that 112 of Wisconsin’s 578 drinking water utilities still have utility-owned service lines that contain lead, and it’s likely that an even greater number of water systems have customer-side service lines that contain lead. Local utilities looking to implement a customer-side lead service line replacement program should schedule a pre-application meeting with PSCW staff to ensure certain requirements are met.

Lead is a toxic metal that can be harmful to human health even at low exposure levels.

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