Lead Free Newsletter Spring 2023

Table of Contents

­­­­­Biden-Harris Partnership

DC Water is committed to the Biden-Harris "Get The Lead Out" Partnership. We place the utmost importance on the health and well-being of our valued customers. That is why we are wholeheartedly committed to implementing proactive measures aimed at reducing and eliminating lead from our water supply. As champions of clean, safe, and sustainable water, we share the administration's vision for addressing the critical issue of lead in drinking water.

Lead contamination in drinking water has been a persistent challenge in many communities across the country. DC Water recognizes the urgency of this issue and is taking proactive measures to ensure the highest quality water for our customers. We are working tirelessly to modernize our infrastructure, implement advanced treatment technologies, and conduct rigorous testing to meet and exceed federal regulations.

The Biden-Harris administration recently announced that $143 million in funding will be provided to the District of Columbia for the Lead Service Line Replacement Program through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.  We’re planning on using this funding to replace lead pipes under two programs, our Block-by-Block Program and our customer-initiated Lead Pipe Replacement Assistance Program. 

The Block-by-Block program is a capital improvement program that provides free replacements to eligible homeowners.  The LRPAP Program is currently a discounted program, where the District offers financial assistance to homeowners based on household income. Customers eligible for this program have partial lead service lines because the DC Water managed portion of the pipe was already replaced under a previous project. With the additional BIL funding, the DC Water can offer LPRAP eligible customers a 100% discount for lead pipe replacements.

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By The Numbers

Advancing towards a 2030 Lead Free DC

We are excited to continue our mission to replace all lead service lines by 2030 - this is a move that will benefit present and future generations. When water enters the public distribution system and water mains, it is lead-free. But lead can still get into tap water right before it enters the home, through service lines on your property. Lead service line replacements help keep water lead free as it travels to you. We have replaced more than 4,200 lead service lines with copper pipe since the program started in 2019.

So far in 2023, we have replaced more than 1,100 lead pipes for customers across the District. We’re also increasing the number of customers who replace their lead pipes using one of DC Water’s robust free and discounted lead pipe replacement programs. This year, 70% of these customers who replaced their pipes used one of these programs. Thanks to the support of Mayor Muriel Bowser, the Council of the District of Columbia and the District government, this year, customers have saved more than $4.2 million in direct private side costs using District funding.

DC Water offers free lead pipe replacements to customers that are eligible for the Block-By-Block program. Under this program, all lead pipes on a District block are replaced at the same time to minimize disturbance to residents. This year, 180 blocks from several wards across the district were selected from several wards across the district for the Block-by-Block program. The blocks that are selected for the program are prioritized based on the presence of vulnerable populations, such as children. Some homeowners who are not eligible for the Block-by-Block Program can get their lead pipe replaced using the Lead Pipe Replacement Assistance Program (LPRAP), which offers discounted replacements.

We’re continuing to promote DC Water’s free and discounted programs through our customer outreach efforts. Since we need customers to sign an agreement to perform the replacement work, we’re going door to door and making phone calls directly to customers to encourage participation in the program. In 2023 we’ve contacted customers more than 12,000 times and have secured over 800 agreements from interested customers! We plan to ramp up our efforts during the remainder of the year as we advance toward our goal of achieving a Lead-Free DC.

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Lead Free DC’s Community Activators: Making Waves of Change in the Community

We're excited to shine a spotlight on our remarkable Community Activators Program, a workforce development training effort launched in partnership with the District Department of Employment Services (DOES) Division of State Initiatives (DSI) to support dedicated individuals who are igniting positive change right in our neighborhoods! The Community Activators are doing outreach to property owners in the District to educate them about Lead Free DC and get them to sign up to have their lead service line pipes replaced.

The Community Activators Program is an exciting step toward bringing education and workforce development together to get the lead out while strengthening the neighborhoods we serve. Activators embody the spirit of collaboration, working closely with DC residents to share valuable information about the health impacts of lead exposure and how they can participate in DC Water’s lead pipe replacement programs. The activators are building strong skills in public outreach by participating in the LFDC door to door canvassing program and DC Water community pop up events. In the coming months, they will also be connecting with local community based organizations such as maternal health groups to engage their support in encouraging residents to sign up for a lead pipe replacement.

By fostering these connections, they are building a stronger, more resilient and lead free DC!

 

 

 

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What’s Coming Up in 2023?

Exciting things are happening this year! Lead Free DC is targeting 180 blocks for service line replacements in June. Our goal is to replace 2099 service lines by the end of the year, focusing on areas with vulnerable populations and historically underserved communities, where children reside.

Here's the best part: if you live in one of those planned construction areas, you can get a FREE lead water service line replacement. DC Water is using capital improvement funding for this purpose. However, since the service lines cross private property, we need a signed agreement from property owners before starting the work and Lead Free DC has got you covered. Our friendly canvassers have been visiting eligible residents, answering their questions, and have already collected over 800 signed agreements.

Not only that, Lead Free DC is actively engaging with the District's Advisory Neighborhood Commissions in the construction areas to encourage public participation and ensure everyone has a say in the process. DC Water is passionate about our mission of reducing lead exposure from drinking water, and we are doing it hand in hand with the community.

Please visit our construction dashboard on the Lead Free DC web page to see if we are coming to your neighborhood this year: https://www.dcwater.com/lead-free-dc-construction-dashboard

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DC Waterpalooza Event Recap

On Thursday, April 27, the Lead Free DC Public Outreach Team partnered with DC Water's Office of Marketing and Communications and the Chesapeake Water Environment Association (CWEA) to present Water Palooza 2023 for third and fourth grade students from Van Ness Elementary.

The event was hosted by DC Water at HQO, and featured a series of engaging activities to teach curious young students about numerous aspects of water and wastewater treatment, including:

  • What not to flush
  • What does water mean to you?
  • Lead in water
  • Stormwater filtration

 

To inspire these young students with DC Water’s vision of a city without lead, the Lead Free DC program provided a brief educational overview about lead pipes, followed by a series of fun activities to test their knowledge on the health benefits of removing lead service lines from the District by 2030.

In addition, a photo booth was introduced to the students to inform them of multiple career paths within the water sector, and they received a briefing on the different types of water-related jobs. At the end of the briefing, students selected a preferred career path and could wear the related uniform and personal protective gear for that role while using the photo booth.

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Become A Community Champion

DC Water's Community Champions are everyday heroes who go the extra mile to support and champion clean water initiatives in their neighborhoods. If you’re interested in learning how to become a Community Champion to help promote Lead Free DC, contact us at lead@dcwater.com.

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Word on the Street

Many individuals have expressed relief and satisfaction in knowing that we are actively working towards a safer and healthier environment for all. As a result, the program has garnered widespread support and recognition for its unwavering dedication to the well-being of the community it serves.

Here's what people are saying about the program:

Kesha P. - "From point of construction scheduling, I was very happy with the communication/conversation I had with the construction scheduling team. The GC was very professional." July 2022.


Edward S. - "We would like to thank everyone at DC Water that is involved in the Lead Pipe Replacement Program. Your team came out and replaced the lead pipes leading into our home last week on July 7, 2022. We are very grateful for that service." July 2022.


Rosendo F. - "I wanted to write you and thank you for your very prompt and effective management of my request to have our lead service pipe replaced. I was totally amazed that it all took place within a few days of my original request, and very grateful for it." March 2022

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Imagine a City Without Lead

Look for the Imagine a City Without Lead advertisements across the district. We’re building public awareness about our goal to get the lead out by 2030 and the importance of lead service line replacement!

 

Where to Find Us

 

6/21/2023
Monthly virtual meeting of ANC 5B

Virtual meeting via Zoom

7:00PM
     
6/28/2023
Join Mayor Bowser and the Department of Aging and Community Living at Mayor Bower's 12th Annual Senior Symposium | Better Together: Support. Inspire. Love.


Ballou Stay High School, 3401 4th Street, SE

9:00AM
     
7/6/2023
MPD's Beat The Streets Summer Event Series Kick-Off/Malcolm X

(Seventh District-Ward 8)
600 LeBaum Street SE

12:00PM
     
7/7/2023
Friday Night Concert Series at The Yards Park, hosted by Capitol Riverfront BID


Yards Park-355 Water Street SE

7:00PM
     
7/8/2023
DC Pan African Festival


Lansburgh Park 1098 Delaware Ave SW 

11:00AM
     
7/14/2023
Friday Night Concert Series at The Yards Park, hosted by Capitol Riverfront BID


Yards Park-355 Water Street SE

7:00PM
     
7/15/2023
National Park Service Lotus and Water Lily Festival (two-day event)


Kenilorworth Aquatic Gardens-1550 Anacostia Avenue NE

9:00AM
     
7/15/2023
Broccoli City Festival 2023


Robert F. Kennedy Stadium (Lot 8)-2500 Independence Avenue SE

2:00PM
     
7/16/2023
Broccoli City Festival 2023


Robert F. Kennedy Stadium (Lot 8)-2500 Independence Avenue SE

2:00PM
     
7/16/2023
National Park Service Lotus and Water Lily Festival (two-day event)


Kenilorworth Aquatic Gardens-1550 Anacostia Avenue NE

9:00AM
     
7/21/2023
Friday Night Concert Series at The Yards Park, hosted by Capitol Riverfront BID


Yards Park-355 Water Street SE

7:00PM
     
7/22/2023
7th Annual International Colombian Festival


Catholic University-3598 John McCormack Road NE

10:00AM
     
7/25/2023
MPD's Beat The Streets Summer Event Series-Saratoga


(Fifth District-Ward 5)
1400 Saratoga Avenue NE

12:00PM
     
7/27/2023
MPD's Beat The Streets Summer Event Series-Potomac Gardens


(First District-Ward 6)
1200 I Street SE

12:00PM
     
7/28/2023
Friday Night Concert Series at The Yards Park, hosted by Capitol Riverfront BID


Yards Park-355 Water Street SE

7:00PM

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Upcoming Meeting

Board of Directors Meeting

April 24, 2023

Monday 9:00 AM

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