DC Water Announces Lead Pipe Replacement Plan
DC Water Releases Plan to Remove All Lead Service Lines in the District by 2030**This version reflects the correct date for the completion of the initiative.** Vince Morris firstname.lastname@example.org (202)787-2081
June 7, 2021 Today, DC Water released the Authority’s Lead Service Line Replacement Plan, an ambitious and robust plan to remove all lead service lines in the District of Columbia by 2030. The plan combines DC Water’s existing programs utilized to removed lead service lines (LSL) in the District into one coordinated effort that prioritizes lead replacements for vulnerable populations most impacted by lead exposure (e.g. children and pregnant women), and communities that are historically underserved and experience disproportionately poorer health outcomes compared with other parts of the city. Developing and executing the plan is a top priority of DC Water Chief Executive Officer and General Manager David L. Gadis. “Achieving the Lead Free DC vision requires a comprehensive, nuanced plan that not only improves on what we do today, but also details what would be required from us, the city, and our customers to accelerate replacement efforts, and to do it in a way that incorporates water quality and customer equity needs,” said Mr. Gadis. The plan includes removal of the known lead service lines, as well as the remaining work needed to identify all of the lead pipes on public and private property in the District. The plan also details the model based on water quality data and social equity factors that is being used to prioritize projects, along with the cost estimates to meet the 2030 timeline. Mr. Gadis added, “We estimate an additional $300 million to $500 million will be needed to accomplish that goal, but Mayor Bowser has included funding in her proposed budget for lead service line removal and we are optimistic the Federal Government will also step up to help.” Through this plan, DC Water is also recommending a host of policy and outreach initiatives necessary to accomplish the lead service line replacement goal by the end of the decade. Over the past few years, DC Water has taken significant steps to reduce lead in drinking water. These actions include monitoring for lead at the tap, controlling corrosion, replacing lead service pipes, educating customers on the health impacts of lead, and helping them identify and remove lead sources on their property. DC Water launched its Lead Free DC initiative in 2019 and has already made a significant impact by removing lead pipes from more than 1,000 homes, while leveraging District funding to save customers approximately $1,000,000 in replacement costs. To read the Lead Service Line Replacement Plan, please visit dcwater.com/LeadFreeDCPlan
DC Water Legislative Update
A pending new law will affect DC Water consumers. Currently, the “District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority Omnibus Amendment Act of 2020” is pending Congressional approval with the projected law date of March 15, 2021 (See https://lims.dccouncil.us/legislation/B23-0640). Some relevant changes are: (1) the deadline for a consumer to challenge a bill, (2) what DC Water must have on the water bill, and (3) reporting requirements for emergency events. The new law changes the deadline for a consumer to challenge a bill in writing. The customer has 20 calendar days after the date the bill is rendered to challenge the bill. The clock begins ticking when DC Water issues the bill, not when the consumer receives the bill. The new deadline is a ten-day difference from 30 calendar days to challenge a water bill. Remember, you must challenge your bill in writing. A consumer calling DC Water’s Customer Service does not warrant a challenge to the water bill. If you need to contact OPC, you should find OPC’s contact information on the water bill. The new law requires DC Water to place OPC’s contact information on their residential customers’ bills and website. Also, there is a new reporting requirement for DC Water for emergency events. The reporting requirement consist of two stages. First, DC Water shall report within 5 days after an emergency event to OPC, Chairpersons of ANCs, and Ward Councilmembers representing areas that include affected properties:
- A description of the emergency event, including, where available, and the cause of the emergency event.
- A list of ANCs with affected properties.
- An estimate of the total number of affected properties
- A list of DC Water’s current and future actions in response to the emergency event Information, including a best point of contact, for owners of affected properties to report damage to or seek relief from DC Water.
- Information on affected properties, including the number of affected properties and a list of ANCs with affected properties.
- Detailed information about the emergency event.
a. The information differs depending on the type of emergency event. For example, in an extreme weather-related emergency event, DC Water must report the duration and amount of rainfall and an approximate number of affected properties experiencing any sewer system back-ups.
- A list of DC Water’s actions in response to the event, including:
a. Offered relief to affected properties b. Planned outreach to owners of affected properties c. Planned actions to address the cause of the event.
What You Should Know
OPC’s Water Services Division (WSD) advocacy and assistance for consumers is stronger than ever. While the pandemic has triggered consumer requests to a high volume, the WSD Team is doubling efforts to meet the demand.Mark your calendars for WSD’s 2-year Anniversary Event: Tuesday, April 27th . The 2PM virtual gathering will offer WSD updates, and expert presentations on utility assistance and flood prevention. If you are a ratepayer, the following updates may be news you can use:
DC Water’s Multifamily Assistance Program (MAP)
- Funds are available for tenants who live in multifamily dwellings.
- Tenants and property owners are eligible to apply for the program.
- If you have questions or concerns about the program, please contact DC Water on (202) 354-3750 or Cares@dcwater.com.
Enactment of the District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority Omnibus Amendment Act of 2020.
- Customers will have 20 calendar days to dispute a bill from the bill issued date.
- OPC’s contact information will be listed on water bills and on DC Water’s website.