Lead and Copper Rule Compliance
A Proactive Approach to Lead Service Line Replacement
Our Client’s Challenge
In December 2020, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published significant updates to its Lead and Copper Rule (LCR). The updates require water utilities to monitor distribution systems for lead in drinking water to better protect communities from the risks of lead exposure and enhance public health.
Under the revised LCR, utilities are responsible for initiating programs to identify service line materials and create service line inventories, and they must make that information available to the public. All affected utilities are required to complete their inventories by Oct. 16, 2024.
The Bradford City Water Authority (BCWA) provides over 4 million gallons of high-quality drinking water to more than 6,200 customers daily. Considering the critical nature of the revised LCR and the magnitude of potential lead service line (LSL) replacements, BCWA took a proactive and aggressive approach to not only inventory its service lines but also to remove all known LSLs.
Challenged to identify potential line replacements using only data from hard-copy records for 6,000+ customers, BCWA turned to longtime partner Gannett Fleming and the geographic information systems (GIS) expertise of its geospatial, data management, and technology division, GeoDecisions.
We combined our in-depth awareness of BCWA’s water distribution system with our leading-edge data acquisition methods and data management acumen to streamline project execution and meet BCWA’s LSL replacement program goals. GeoDecisions used customized machine learning to read individual customer valve cards (files). The cards were scanned, uploaded, and digitally processed for keywords such as “lead.”
Completed in a fraction of the time manual file review requires, this information shed the first light on the specific service line replacements that are likely needed. Customer files that included the word “lead” were used to develop the abatement project.
GeoDecisions addressed the LCR inspection, inventory, and regulatory reporting requirements by deploying Esri’s Lead Service Line Inventory solution – configurable web maps, applications, and dashboards – to maintain inventory and replacement status information. The team also used available GIS data on the age of customer homes to anticipate potential LSLs further.
BCWA employed several contractors to perform field verification, including testing and inspections, in the communities prioritized as high-risk and other areas based on LSL data gathered to date. Direct access to the inspections GIS map provides BCWA with the specific data needed to track progress and make critical decisions for future home inspections. The team also deployed Notify – a voice, text, and email notification solution – to enable BCWA to provide timely customer alerts.
To further facilitate BCWA’s LSL replacement program, Gannett Fleming assisted the authority with its funding application, resulting in an award of an $8.52 million PENNVEST grant. The grant, which uses Water Infrastructure Fund Transfer Act (WIFTA) money, will finance the project, including replacing more than 570 LSLs and approximately 3 miles of aging and deteriorating water mains in the BCWA service area.
- LSL inventory and LSL replacement plan.
- Primacy agency reporting.
- Public education and outreach.
- Funding application and compliance support.
Awards & Recognition
- Awards. This web part is hidden.
- Completed the LSL inventory efficiently to meet regulatory requirements.
- Determined the location and number of required replacements.
- Deployed configurable web maps, applications, and dashboards to easily maintain the LSL inventory, LSL replacement plan, and primacy agency reporting.
- Delivered timely communication to customers through Notify – a voice, text, and email notification program.
- Secured an $8.52 million PENNVEST grant to fund the entire project.
Bradford City Water Authority (BCWA)
Asset Management, Geospatial and Technology, Funding Support, Regulatory Compliance.