On February 29, 2016, EPA sent a letter to states emphasizing the need to review Lead and Copper Rule (LCR) implementation activities to ensure that state programs are addressing risks to lead in drinking water. Among MassDEP’s response actions, the agency developed an informational mailing and online survey for public water suppliers (PWS) subject to the LCR relative to their Lead Service Line (LSL) actions and consumer communications and transparency. A LSL is the water pipe that connects distribution mains to customers. The goal of the survey was to identify technical assistance needs and collect best management practices related to LSL program implementation and consumer communication and transparency. This document summarizes the findings from the survey and will be used to determine LCR technical assistance needs and to develop best management practices for PWS.
Massachusetts LCR, contained within the Drinking Water Regulations 310 CMR 22.00, includes the following requirements pertaining to LSL:
- All community and non-transient non-community water systems are required to conduct a materials survey; however, a total inventory of LSLs is not required. A materials survey requires that PWS review all records (such as building permits, plumbing permits, maintenance records, etc.) documenting the materials used to construct and repair the distribution system and building connected to the distribution system.
- Systems that fail to meet the lead action level, after installing corrosion control and/or source water treatment, must replace 7 percent of their LSLs each year until the PWS has met the action level for two consecutive monitoring periods.
There are 782 PWS subject to the LCR in Massachusetts, including 523 Community and 259 Non-Transient Non-Community PWS. All 782 PWS were asked to complete the “Lead and Copper Rule (LCR) Lead Service Line (LSL) Survey.” As of October 10, 2016 there were 547 responses to the LSL survey (69 percent response rate).