New Lead Service Line Replacement Assistance Programs
On January 16, 2019, Mayor Bowser signed legislation championed by DC Water and community advocates that allocates District funds to support two lead water service line replacement programs. DC Water will continue to cover the cost of lead pipe replacement in public space, and the aid will help customers pay for the portion on private property:
- Full Lead Water Service Line Replacement Program - District funds cover the complete cost of the lead water service pipe replacement on private property, when DC Water replaces the portion of lead pipe in public space in conjunction with a capital improvement project (i.e. water main replacement); and
- Lead Water Service Line Replacement Assistance Program – District provides funds to customers (directly to their contractors) to replace the lead service pipe on private property when the service pipe in public space is not lead. Assistance is based on household income.
*If no capital improvement project is scheduled for two years, and both the public and private portions of service pipe are lead, property owners can enroll in the Voluntary Lead Service Pipe Replacement Program.
The financial assistance made available to District residents supports DC Water's efforts to carry out full lead service line replacements, and also redresses remaining lead pipe on private properties that did not participate in full replacements in the past.
Additionally, the legislation requires landlords to disclose to tenants whether a given property contains any known lead water pipes and plumbing, and the results of any lead testing of the property’s water. It requires the same of homeowners with respect to potential home buyers before any sales occur.
These programs will be administered by the Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE). DOEE is currently developing the application forms that will be housed on doee.dc.gov.
The bill has been sent to Congress for review, and the projected date of enactment is March 26, 2019. The exact funding for the programs will be released in late March, when the Mayor presents the District's proposed Fiscal Year 2020 budget to the Council. The financial assistance programs will be available for residents no earlier than October 2019.
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Additional information can be found at dcwater.com/leadbillFAQ, and the full Lead Pipe Replacement and Disclosure Amendment Act of 2018 text can be found here.