Background and Major Changes
All community (COM) and non-transient non-community (NTNC) public water systems in Massachusetts required to comply with the Lead and Copper Rule (LCR) will be required to comply with the Lead and Copper Rule Revisions (LCRR) starting October 16, 2024.
On December 16, 2021, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced final revisions to the National Primary Drinking Water Regulations for lead and copper under authority of the Safe Drinking Water Act - called the Lead and Cooper Rule Revisions (LCRR). The LCRR will identify the most at-risk communities and ensure systems have plans in place to rapidly respond by taking actions to reduce elevated levels of lead in drinking water. Some of the major changes include:
- Requiring COM and NTNC systems to inventory (identify) and make public the locations of lead service lines (LSLs) and to develop a LSL replacement plan by October 16, 2024 (note that the requirements take effect on the first day of implementation).
- In addition to the system-wide 90th percentile action level of 15 parts per billion (ppb), the LCRR also establishes a 90th percentile system-wide trigger level of 10 ppb of lead to assist systems to plan to further address lead in drinking water.
- Requiring COM systems to offer testing to all schools and childcare facilities served.
For more information on the LCRR, see https://www.epa.gov/ground-water-and-drinking-water/revised-lead-and-copper-rule.
EPA also announced that future additional updates to the LCRR will be made to further evaluate if they protect families and communities, particularly those that have been disproportionately impacted by lead in drinking water. These future updates are called the Lead and Copper Rule Improvements (LCRI) and EPA intends to promulgate them prior to October 16, 2024. For more information on the LCRI, see https://www.epa.gov/ground-water-and-drinking-water/lead-and-copper-rule-improvements.
Information for Public Water Systems
LCRR Service Line Inventory and Replacement Plan Templates
You can find templates and instructions for the development of LCRR Service Line Inventories and Replacement Plans on the Lead & Copper Forms & Templates webpage. The compliance date for the Service Line Inventory is October 16, 2024.
NOTE: All public water systems, even those without lead service lines, are required to submit an initial FULL service line inventory by October 16, 2024. MassDEP Drinking Water Program is encouraging PWS to submit their draft inventories by April 1, 2024. This would give public water suppliers time to make sure their inventories are complete and to receive any technical assistance, if needed, to ensure compliance on or before the regulatory deadline.
- Getting Ready for the Lead and Copper Rule Revisions: Lead Service Line Inventories
- LCRR Lead Service Line Inventories: An Infographic
- MassDEP Drinking Water Program Tools for Getting Ready for the Lead and Copper Rule Revisions
- Monitoring Frequency Guide for Systems Subject to the LCRR
- Guidance: How PWS can make their Service Line Inventories Accessible to the Public
- Lead and Copper Rule Revisions (LCRR) Requirements for “Lead Status Unknown” Service Lines
- Statistical (Predictive) Modeling Guidance for Evaluating Unknown Service Lines
MassDEP developed a "crowdsourcing application" (hereafter referred to as "the App") to assist both consumers and PWS to identify lead service lines. The App is a web-based tool for consumers to assist in the identification of lead service lines. No downloading of software is required. The App is a collection of Smartsheet forms, sheets, and workflow automations that allow your customers to submit photos of their service line for identification purposes. This can be helpful for PWS in compiling their line inventories and in prioritizing lead service line replacements. Instructions for using the App can be found here.
- LCRR Service Line Inventory Public Outreach Toolkit
- How to Identify Service Line Materials: An Infographic for Customers (English)
- Como Identificar Los Materiales de la Linea de Servicio: Infografia Para Clientes (Espanol)
Funding Opportunities for PWS to Address Lead
Service Lines Inventory and Replacement Plan Grant Program
MassDEP is accepting Lead Service Lines planning grant applications, on a rolling basis, while funding is available. Please find additional information here.
Eligible activities for these planning programs include:
- Service Line Inventory - Completing a comprehensive Service Line Inventory for both public and private portions that will be made publicly available. This comprehensive inventory project could include activities such as inspecting physical service lines, compiling paper records, initiating a consumer lead service line identification program, but must include submitting the complete inventory to MassDEP in a digital format specified by MassDEP or in an alternate format approved by MassDEP that can be readily compiled into the MassDEP data system.
- Lead Service Line Replacement Program - Preparing a Lead Service Line replacement program for the PWS that complies with the LCRR. PWS’ lead service line replacement plans need to incorporate the MassDEP public health protection goal by planning to replace all lead service lines in 5 years or as soon as possible.
- Assistance for Small Community Water Systems and Non-Transient Non-Community Systems - Lead Service Line Planning Program
This program is available for PWS serving a population of less than 10,000. MassDEP will use the $1.3 million of the set-asides from the DWSRF Lead Service Line Grant to contract with a qualified technical assistance provider to complete eligible planning projects working with the PWS.
Small PWS must notify MassDEP of their interest in this technical assistance and provide an update on how they are preparing for the LCRR requirements by submitting the MassDEP Service Line Inventory and Lead Service Line Replacement Plan Technical Assistance Survey. PWS will be contacted, and technical assistance will be provided virtually or in person, depending on need and resources.
Massachusetts Public Water Systems Frequently Asked Questions about the Lead and Copper Rule Revisions (LCRR)
Massachusetts Free Pilot Program for School and Early Education and Care Facilities (EECF) Testing Ahead of LCRR
Beginning in October 2024, all community water systems must offer to test and conduct sampling in at least 20% of the elementary schools and 20% early education and care facilities (EECFs) per year in their service area for lead and ensure that all facilities are initially offered testing within 5 years (by October 2029). To assist PWS and to support lead in school testing, MassDEP launched a FREE testing pilot program for PWS that apply and are selected. The selected PWS must have programs for public elementary schools and public/private EECFs that include the following:
- Facility mapping
- Laboratory testing
- Technical assistance
- Notification and results dissemination
For more information about this Pilot Program please contact email@example.com. Subject: PWS Pilot program for Lead in Schools
MassDEP Past Trainings
- EPA's Guidance for Developing and Maintaining a Service Line Inventory
- EPA's Developing and Maintaining a Service Line Inventory: Small Entity Compliance
- EPA's Lead Service Line Inventory Template (Note, EPA's version of the inventory template will not be accepted by Massachusetts. We are providing it here for reference only. Massachusetts PWS are expected to use the Service Line Inventory Excel Workbook provided by MassDEP.)
- EPA's LCRR Website
- EPA's "Protect Your Tap: A Quick Check for Lead"
- Biden-Harris Lead Pipe and Paint Action Plan
- EPA's Lead and Copper Rule Improvements Website
- EPA's BIL SRF Implementation Memo
- EPA News Release on Lead Service Line Inventory Guidance
- Lead Service Line Replacement Collaborative