Construction Projects May Give You an Opportunity to Replace Your Lead Service Line

Each year, DC Water repairs and replaces water infrastructure through construction projects such as water main replacements and emergency repairs. During these projects, DC Water may replace the water main in the street and water service pipes in public space. Although the entire water service pipe is owned by the property owner, under certain conditions, DC Water is authorized to repair, maintain or renew the portion of the service pipe in public space. Maintenance of the portion of the service pipe on private property is the exclusive responsibility of the property owner.

For some property owners, water main replacement projects are an opportunity to replace their water service pipe on private property. The material of water service pipes varies from home to home in the District, and some households still have lead service pipes. When replacing water mains, DC Water also replaces any existing lead service pipes in public space. DC Water will notify the affected property owners and will offer to coordinate the replacement of the lead water service pipe on their private property, at the owner's expense.

Property owners are strongly encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity to replace the portion of a lead pipe on their private property. Pipe replacement on private property is the property owner's financial responsibility. However, if a property owner agrees to pay for the replacement of the lead pipe on private property, DC Water will coordinate and replace the entire pipe in public and private property with considerable savings to the owner.

Requests for lead service pipe replacement must be made by the property owner. DC Water strongly encourages tenants of single and multi-family residences to request that the property owner call Customer Service at (202) 354-3600 or email to take advantage of the opportunity for lead service pipe replacement.

The Cost of Lead Pipe Replacement

To encourage a full lead pipe replacement, DC Water offers homeowners the opportunity to replace their private side lead service pipe at a special rate. The rates offered by DC Water often result in savings on permitting and work coordination with the contractor. Property owners may wish to get estimates from other contractors.

The DC Water contractor rate is $100 per foot of pipe replaced on private property, plus $500 to connect inside the home. For example, if you have 20 feet on private property in front of your house, the total cost would be $2,500 (20 feet x $100 = $2,000 + $500 = $2,500). There may be exceptions to these rates in the case of unusual plumbing situations.

Payment options are available for homeowners to pay for lead pipe replacement on private property.

  • Full payment to DC Water prior to work;
  • Full payment after the work is completed;
  • Four monthly payment installments to DC Water.