Quality CSO Plans
Developing Lead Service Line Inventories Presented by the Association of State Drinking Water Administrators
Many state drinking water administrators are considering developing inventories of the materials used in service lines that are part of the distribution systems of community water systems (CWSs) they regulate. Some states have already conducted voluntary or mandatory surveys of CWSs whether on their own or in response to state legislation. Others are preparing to use the information in the next round of Drinking Water Infrastructure Needs Survey and Assessments (DWINSA) that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is developing pursuant to Section 2015 of the America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018. The 2020 DWINSA will include an estimate of the number of public and private lead service lines as well as an estimate of the costs to replace all lead service lines, which will be a significant undertaking for water systems to develop and states to collect information on. To assist states that are considering initiating a lead service line (LSL) inventory, the Association of State Drinking Water Administrators (ASDWA) has developed the following guidance based on the experience of the states that have already conducted or are preparing to develop a comprehensive inventory of service line materials.
Handout: Water Infrastructure Drives New Jersey’s Economy
In order to lay the groundwork for wide-scale transformation of New Jersey’s water infrastructure systems, members of the Jersey Water Works collaborative have prioritized educating the public and elected and appointed officials on the importance of taking care of water infrastructure. This booklet is a tool for doing so and Jersey Water Works encourages all to make this economic case to their local and state elected and appointed officials today.
Assessment of Eliminating Lead in Minnesota Drinking Water
The 2017 Minnesota Legislature directed the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) to “conduct an analysis to determine the scope of the lead problem in Minnesota’s water and the cost to eliminate lead exposure in drinking water.” In this report, Assessment of Eliminating Lead in Minnesota Drinking Water, MDH assesses the scope of the lead problem by examining the extent of lead already in water systems as well as factors that allow lead to get in drinking water. However, because drinking water systems across the state are diverse and have varying requirements and resource needs, broad estimates are used to gauge costs.
Policy Options: Promoting Affordability of Public Water and Sewer Service for Low-Income Households in New Jersey
This discussion paper presents policy options for improving affordability of water and wastewater service for lower income residents in New Jersey—for the benefit not only of those customers, but of all New Jerseyans who depend on their local utilities for clean, safe, and reliable water and sewer service. Jersey Water Works aims to use it to spark discussion among state and local policy makers, utility managers, water and sewer customers, community organizations, and other public sector, private sector, and non-profit stakeholders, and to use it as a basis for further analysis and development of priority recommendations. The paper is based on a review of existing literature from around the country; research on existing New Jersey laws and programs; and interviews with leaders representing or associated with a wide range of stakeholders, including publicly and privately owned utilities, state regulators, affordable housing developers and advocates, consumer advocates, environmental justice advocates, business, and labor.
“A major deterrent to proper investment in water infrastructure is affordability . . . Municipalities with a larger share of low-income residents find it difficult to raise rates to fund water infrastructure upgrades due to the detrimental effect higher rates will have on those residents. The result is underinvestment, which is a losing proposition . . . However, while increasing rates can adversely affect low-income households, as several witnesses noted, these effects are not inevitable and can be avoided . . .” —New Jersey Legislature, Joint Legislative Task Force on Drinking Water Infrastructure, Final Report (Jan. 2018)
Rates could fund lead pipe replacement in critical states: Laws in states with the most lead service lines support the practice
In Rates could fund lead pipe replacement in critical states, Emmett Environmental Law & Policy Clinic at Harvard Law School and Environmental Defense Fund reviewed state laws and policies in 13 states with the most lead service lines (LSLs), and found no explicit barriers to using rate funds to replace the lines on private property. These states have an estimated 4.2 million LSLs, more than two-thirds of the nation’s total. In these states, publicly-owned utilities can act pursuant to existing state legislation by determining that the practice serves a public purpose—protecting public health. Investor-owned utilities can do the same, but typically need approval of the state’s utility commission. While we have not reviewed the remaining states, we anticipate that the state laws and policies are similar to the ones we evaluated.