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If you are required by MassDEP to initiate lead service line replacement, you must submit a Lead Service Line Replacement Program (LSLRP) to the MassDEP Drinking Water Program for approval within 60 days of the end of the monitoring period and prior to initiating the LSLRP. This critical step will ensure that your program is in compliance with all federal and state requirements. Please include the following elements in your LSLRP.
You must begin replacing lead service lines if you continue to exceed the lead action level after installing corrosion control treatment and/or source water treatment (in whichever sampling occurs later). MassDEP can also require you to begin lead service line replacement if you are required to install corrosion control treatment or source water treatment and have not installed such treatment.
To determine if a lead service line must be replaced. You are not required to replace an individual lead service line if the lead concentration of all samples from the line is less than or equal to 0.015 mg/L. This line counts as a replaced line. You are required to replace a minimum of 7 percent of your lead service lines annually for as long as you continue to exceed the lead action level. This monitoring is optional, but it may save you the expense of replacing a lead service line.
To determine the impact of partial lead service line replacement on lead levels. Partial lead service line replacement occurs when you do not replace the privately owned portion of the line, because of legal restrictions or the owner decides not to pay for the replacement of the privately owned portion. In this event, you must collect a sample that is representative of the water in the service line that you partially replaced and have the sample analyzed for lead within 72 hours after the partial lead service line replacement. This monitoring is required.
Only those systems that are required to replace lead service lines may be required to conduct some lead service line monitoring. As stated above, monitoring to determine whether a line needs to be replaced is optional. However, the cost of a lead analysis is less expensive than the cost to replace a line.
If you replace a line, but do not replace the privately owned portion of the line, then you must collect a sample that is representative of the water in the service line. This sample is not required if you replace the entire lead service line, or if you only replaces a gooseneck, pigtail, or other fittings and these are the only lead components in your service line.
The first required year of lead service line replacement begins on the date you exceed the lead action level in tap samples collected after installing corrosion control or source water treatment, whichever is later, or as specified by the state.
You are required to replace at least 7 percent (or more if required by the State) of the initial number of lead service lines in your distribution system. The initial number of lead service lines is the number in place at the time the replacement program began. You must continue replacing the required percentage of lead service lines each year until you no longer exceed the lead action level during 2 consecutive monitoring periods of any duration.
You can collect these samples using one of the following procedures. For each method, collect a 1-liter sample from the tap by filling the sample bottle to the 1-liter mark, then cap immediately.
The Lead and Copper Rule requires that a lead service replacement program have the following elements. For consistency and to ease implementation, MassDEP has created a number of draft documents that you can customize for your own community.
Communities must replace 7% of the initial number of lead service lines annually. The initial number of lead services is the number in place at the beginning of the lead service replacement program. You must determine from your local records how many lead services are currently in place as of the date your system failed the action level. To assist you in developing a summary of your distribution material see "Identifying Sites for Lead and Copper Sampling and Preparing a Sampling Plan and Materials Survey" on the above noted web page.
If your records do not enable you to make an accurate determination of the number of lead services immediately, you should conservatively estimate the number based on information such as the age of housing stock, pipeline rehabilitation program records and other sources. For example, you could determine that your system began to use copper services in 1940, and thus any home built prior to that date probably originally had a lead service. Take that number, subtract from it any known lead service replacements, and the remainder is a conservative estimate of how many lead services there may still be in your community. Of course, this will probably lead to your being required to do more replacements in the first year. The LSRP should then also include a process for more accurately determining the number based on other research and field work or the results the lead service replacement work during the first year.
Communities are only obligated to replace the portion of the lead service they own or control although the Department strongly recommends that it develop programs to assist homeowner to expedite entire lead service line replacement. Typically water systems own or control from the main to the property line, back of curb line or curb stop. The regulations require that you provide some documentation and support from "relevant legal authorities (e.g. contracts, local ordinances) regarding the portion owned by the system." This is particularly important if your community differs from the typical situation. DEP will only require documentation if you are claiming that you own or control less than the portion from the main to the property line.
If you do not own or control the portion of the service line on private property, and are not directly replacing it at the community's expense, the system must offer to replace the homeowner's portion at the homeowner's expense. This notification must occur at least 45 days prior to the work commencing. You must be able to document that you have notified each and every affected homeowner. Visit the above noted page for examples for a first and second notice to each homeowner, and a template for tracking the various required back and forth contacts with the homeowner. You should also make a lead education fact sheet available to enclose with the notices. A copy of a fact sheet is available at the above noted web page.
The notification to homeowners must explain that they may experience a temporary increase in lead levels in their drinking water if they do not replace their portion of the service line. You must also provide them with information on measures they can take to minimize that exposure.
Given that lead exposures may increase if only a portion of the service line is replaced, it is important that you make every effort to convince the homeowner to replace their portion.
Other examples of Lead Service Line Replacement programs
If you chose to replace part of a lead service line you must also collect a lead sample from each partially replaced service line within 72 hours of the work. You must provide the results to the homeowner within 3 days of receiving them. This should be tracked and documented as well. The date you collect the sample, the date you receive the results and the date you send the results to the homeowner should be recorded on the tracking sheet along with the lead results. See sample letters on the above noted web page.
If a homeowner does not respond to the notices or does not replace their portion of the lead service line, MassDEP strongly recommends that the homeowner be referred to the local Board of Health for additional educational information on lead health effects.
The 'partial replacement' sample is NOT the usual first flush kitchen tap sample! The sample must be taken of water that has sat stagnant in the lead service for at least 6 and no more than 12 hours. The regulations require that this be taken by calculating the volume of water in pipes leading from the service to the sample tap used, by tapping directly into the service line, or in a single family home by running the water until there is a significant change in temperature indicating that the service has been reached. These are difficult samples to collect properly, and you should carefully consider how you or your contractor will accomplish this requirement. If you replace the entire service, you do not have to take this sample. This issue has influenced some communities elsewhere in the country to decide to do entire lead service replacements themselves.
At the end of the year you will need to prepare and submit a Lead Service Line Replacement Report to DEP demonstrating completion of the required 7 % lead service replacements, and compliance with the various notice requirements. The report should include:
You should retain for your records copies of all notices sent and returned by homeowners, and contractors' records of the work completed.
Your initial plan submission must be responsive to each of the requirements of the Lead and Copper Rule listed above and at a minimum, includes the following informational sections noted below. In addition, it should contain information about sources of funding, anticipated schedules, who will manage the program, and plans for updating or confirming any data, which you are not fully confident about. You may also want to include information about how you will deal with any lead services replaced in the process of doing pipeline repair work. These can count toward the 7 percent requirements, but do not need to follow precisely all the notification steps.