News Flash

Communications & Public Engagement

Posted on: December 20, 2023

Lynchburg Water Resources Creating Lead Service Line Inventory and Replacement Plan

Glass of water

Lynchburg Water Resources, as part of its Lead Service Line Inventory Program, will begin investigating the material of water service lines at randomly selected properties in the City of Lynchburg with the goal of identifying and eliminating service lines made of lead.

On January 15, 2021, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published revisions to its Lead and Copper Rule, which took effect December 16, 2021. The Lead and Copper Rule Revisions (LCRR) laid out a series of new actions for water utilities to complete, including the creation of a Lead Service Line (LSL) Inventory and Replacement Plan that must be submitted to the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) by October 16, 2024. The goal of this initiative is to identify lead sources in a water system, implement and/or optimize corrosion control treatment if lead release exceeds specified limits, and establish a plan to eliminate all sources of lead in the water supply system.

Lynchburg’s water has always exceeded water quality requirements, and any detected lead levels have always been well below any action level. Lynchburg’s water does not contain any lead when it leaves Lynchburg Water Resources' (LWR) treatment plants. The risk for lead comes from corrosion of water service lines and other plumbing materials made with lead. In order to mitigate this risk, LWR implements corrosion control strategies to maintain high-quality water from the treatment plants to the tap. Because of Lynchburg's exceptional water quality, the City has earned Virginia Department of Health’s Excellence in Water Works Performance Awards for 18 straight years.

LWR has contracted with AECOM, an environmental engineering consulting firm, to help identify lead service lines in the City. While LWR has been replacing lead service lines on the City side for decades, this current effort focuses on the development of an inventory and replacement plan for both City- and customer-side service lines.

Over the past year, AECOM has been reviewing historical records to determine the recorded material of water service lines throughout Lynchburg. VDH requires that a specific number of properties where the service line material could not be identified through historical records be investigated to determine the material. To accomplish this, the project team will randomly select approximately 400 properties in Lynchburg to investigate the material of the service line on both the City side and customer side of the water meter. Before starting this work in early 2024, the project team will mail letters to the selected property owners seeking approval to conduct the on-site investigations.

Upon completion of the historical record review and on-site investigations, the project team will submit an initial Lead Service Line Inventory of all known service line materials to VDH by October 16, 2024. Based on the findings in the LSL Inventory, the project team also will prepare a LSL Replacement Plan that will outline the City’s proposed approach to eliminating lead service lines in the water distribution system, including galvanized service lines that are (or previously were) downstream of lead service lines.

In November 2024, and on a yearly basis thereafter, the City will notify customers who are found to have lead service lines, galvanized service lines requiring replacement, or lines where the material status is still unknown. Additionally, the City will maintain an updated service line inventory of both the City- and customer-side service line materials, as they are confirmed, in a format accessible by the public.

Exposure to lead in drinking water can cause serious health effects in all age groups. Infants and children can have decreases in IQ and attention span. Lead exposure can lead to new learning and behavior problems or exacerbate existing learning and behavior problems. The children of women who are exposed to lead before or during pregnancy can have increased risk of these adverse health effects. Adults can have increased risks of heart disease, high blood pressure, kidney, or nervous system problems.

For more information on the City of Lynchburg’s Lead Service Line Inventory Program, visit www.lynchburgva.gov/lead-information.

If you have questions please contact:
Jason Snyder
Public Information Officer
Lynchburg Water Resources
434-455-4226
jason.snyder@lynchburgva.gov

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