EPA's Revised Lead and Copper Rule

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking action to reduce the amount of lead found in water systems. A major update to the EPA’s Lead and Copper Rule (i.e., the Revised Lead and Copper Rule) strives to improve our drinking water by incorporating science-based testing protocols to identify and remove lead materials from water systems and effectively manage corrosion of water system components. This new rule requires inventories of service lines all the way into households, including the customers’ private service lines! The goal of this new rule is to identify and schedule replacement of lead service pipelines and lead-containing systems including solder-joint copper pipe.

To comply with the new rule, all water system providers must identify and inventory the locations of their service lines by October 16, 2024. The inventories will encompass the service line materials, classifications, and information sources of public systems and customers’ private service lines. The EPA has created and provided an example inventory spreadsheet for each system to utilize. PACE knows that inventorying all service lines, including portions outside of a purveyor’s control, will be a daunting effort, and we are here to help!

Some key areas that PACE can aid in your inventory process:

  • Efficient Data Collection: Streamlining collecting data on service lines by leveraging existing data sources, such as water main records and customer billing information. This automated process helps water service providers save time and resources.
  • Advanced Mapping and Visualization: Providing an intuitive, interactive view of the service line inventory.
  • Reporting and Compliance: Utilize Esri GIS tools and EPA inventory spreadsheet to ensure compliance with rules and streamline reporting.

To speed up the initial data populating process, PACE can review readily available county and other GIS data to determine if we can help batch-populate portions of your inventory. For example, using building construction dates captured at the county level, we can help identify structures and water services that were constructed after lead service lines were no longer allowed within the water service area (e.g., national law (1988) county or local ordinance, or utility provider policy that banned lead service lines).

Water is vital to keep us healthy. The goal of EPA’s new rule is to decrease the risk of lead being introduced into drinking water, and in turn, create safer water for our communities. Although the effort will be big, the result will be even bigger. PACE is here to help! For more information or questions, please contact Eli Zehner at 425.827.2014 or eliz@paceengrs.com.