The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released revisions to its Lead and Copper Rule in 2021. The revisions require water providers to identify the material of water service lines within their water supply systems and to develop a Lead Service Line Inventory by October 16, 2024.
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' treatment plants. The risk for lead comes from corrosion of water service lines and other plumbing materials made with lead. The goal of the EPA’s revisions is to identify these lead sources (both public and private), 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 Water Resources (LWR) has contracted with AECOM to help identify lead service lines in the City through the review of historical records, which started in 2022, and some on-site investigations of water service line materials on the customer side, which will begin in early 2024. An initial inventory of water service line material will be available to the public by the EPA’s deadline of November 2024.
Lynchburg’s water does not contain any lead when it leaves Lynchburg Water Resources' 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, Water Resources implements corrosion control strategies to maintain high-quality water from the treatment plants to the tap. As a result, any detected lead levels have always been well below any action levels. Lynchburg’s water has always exceeded water quality requirements, earning the City the Virginia Department of Health’s Excellence in Water Works Performance Awards for 18 straight years. Click here to see our 2023 Water Quality Report.https://www.lynchburgva.gov/drinking-water-quality-report
How do I know if I have a lead service line?
A water service line is the pipe that connects the City’s water main and meter to your home. LWR will begin efforts to locate lead service lines in the City in 2024, a process that could take years to complete. If you'd like to find out the material of your water service line sooner, you should contact a licensed plumber to inspect your service line. If you'd like to be added to a priority list for potential City-initiated inspections in the future, you can fill out our online consent form here or call 434-455-4226 to learn more.
What is Lynchburg Water Resources doing to comply with the Lead and Copper Rule Revisions?
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 public side for decades, this current effort focuses on the development of an inventory and replacement plan for public and private service lines.
Over the past year, AECOM has conducted a review of 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 has randomly select 453 properties in Lynchburg, based on an approved VDH methodology, to investigate the material of the service line on both the public side and private side of the water meter. The project team has sent 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 complete a Lead Service Line Inventory of the City’s water system. Based on the findings in this LSL Inventory, the project team will also prepare a LSL Replacement Plan that will outline the City’s approach to completely eliminate any lead service lines, including galvanized service lines that are (or previously were) downstream of lead service lines.
By November 15, 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 a service line inventory of both the public and private side service line materials, as they are confirmed, in a format accessible by customers.
If you are concerned about possible lead contamination of your water, here are some helpful actions you can take:
Run the tap before use – Lead levels are likely at their highest when water has been sitting in the pipe for several hours. Clear this water from your pipes by running the cold water for 30 seconds to 2 minutes or until it becomes cold or reaches a steady temperature – this allows you to draw fresh water from the main.
Clean aerators – Aerators are small attachments at the tips of faucets which regulate the flow of water. They can accumulate small particles of lead in their screens. It’s a good idea to remove your aerators at least monthly and clean them out.
Use cold water for cooking – Always cook and prepare baby formula with cold water, because hot water dissolves lead more quickly, resulting in higher levels in water. Boiling water does not remove lead.
Filter the water – Many home water filters are effective at removing lead. If you purchase a filter, make sure it is certified for lead removal and that you maintain it properly. Find out more on filter certification atwww.nsf.org.