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Lead Service Line Replacement Program

Project Background

Citizens Energy Group has received approval from the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) to implement a multi-year program to eliminate customer-owned lead service lines, both in the public right-of-way and on customer property.

While Citizens no longer has any active lead water mains, homes and businesses constructed and connected to the water system prior to 1950 may have lead water service lines. The water service line is the line that connects the main to the dwelling or building (see figure below). The Lead Service Line Replacement Program is designed to replace customer-owned lead water service lines across Citizens Energy Group’s water service territory.

Because Citizens has no active water mains containing lead and there is no lead in the drinking water that leaves Citizens’ water treatment plants, a Lead Service Line Replacement Program is part of the solution to eliminate potential exposure risk to customers. Citizens plans to complete projects to eliminate approximately 55,000-75,000 customer-owned lead service lines over a multi-year period.

Lead Service Line Replacement Projects

Upcoming Replacement Area

In Construction

Adobe PDF Barnes Ave. to Rader St.

Adobe PDF To Come

 


Frequently Asked Questions About Citizens Lead Service Line Replacement Program:

Q. Is drinking water in Indianapolis is safe?
A. Yes, drinking water produced by Citizens Energy Group is safe. There is no lead in the drinking water that leaves Citizens’ water treatment plants. However, between 55,000 and 75,000 homes and businesses built before 1950 in the Indianapolis area may have customer-owned lead service lines and/or lead plumbing. Elevated levels of lead have not been found through regular monitoring of water samples taken from Citizens’ reservoirs, treatment plants, and distribution system. Citizens does not have any active water mains containing lead. Citizens regularly monitors tap water in accordance with U.S. EPA’s Lead and Copper Rule. Elevated lead levels occasionally are found in isolated samples of tap water taken from customer homes with lead service lines or plumbing. The presence of low levels of lead in tap water can occur for a variety of reasons, including the presence of lead plumbing inside the home. Since each home has different plumbing pipes and materials, test results are likely to be different for each home tested for lead. It is important to note that most homes with lead service lines or plumbing do not have elevated levels of lead in the tap water.

Q. What is Citizens doing to minimize lead in drinking water?
A. In addition to regular monitoring of water, Citizens takes steps during the water treatment process to ensure finished drinking water has the proper pH, or acidity, to protect against lead leaching out of customer-owned lead service lines and plumbing.

Q. What homes or structures have lead service lines and plumbing?
A. The use of lead in service lines and plumbing was common in homes and buildings prior to 1950. Between 55,000 and 75,000 homes and businesses built before 1950 in the Indianapolis area may have lead service lines and/or lead plumbing. Service lines are the water lines that run from the utility’s water main to the customer’s home. These service lines are owned by the property owner. Some homes built before 1986 may have lead solder in joints of copper pipe. Lead found in tap water usually comes from the corrosion of lead pipe, whether in service lines or in-home plumbing, or solder that connects the pipe.

Q. How is Citizens’ Lead Service Line Replacement Program designed to eliminate potential risk?
A. Citizens is proposing integration of the lead service line replacement program into the utility’s existing construction processes and system improvement programs across four components:
 
  1. Capital Improvement Projects, Emergency Repair Replacements – Certain existing utility capital improvement and maintenance activities require Citizens to periodically conduct work on service lines. Historically, these activities have been limited to work on the portion of the service line within the public right-of-way. The lead service line replacement program would expand the current process to the replacement of all lead service line materials, including any lead or galvanized iron components from the water main to the customer’s home at no additional cost to the homeowner. Service replacements on customer’s property would require an approved Right-of-Entry Agreement signed by the property owner. All new services would be flushed and sampled to maintain water quality in accordance with established practices and guidance for work on lead service lines.
 
  1. Pro-Active Lead Service Line Replacements – The primary focus of the lead service line replacement program is the development of a proactive process to successfully mitigate the lead services on the system. The proactive process will focus on prioritizing areas and neighborhoods based on a matrix of factors, including health risks, neighborhood economic impacts, and utility asset data. Lead service lines located within a designated project area will be replaced at no cost to the customer provided that an approved Right-of-Entry Agreement is signed by the property owner.
 
  1. Property Owner-Initiated Lead Service Line Replacements – Property owners not located in a current prioritized Lead Service Line Replacement Program area who wish to undertake replacement of their lead service line have two options. Under both options, Citizens funds the portion of the replacement in the public right-of-way, while the property owner is required to fund the replacement of the portion of the service line on private property. The two options are:
 
  • Option #1: Property owners may request a quote for the full service line replacement directly from Citizens’ contractor. Citizens’ contractor will assess the project and provide a quote to the property owner for the property owner’s cost of the replacement on private property. Subject to the property owner’s agreement to pay for the replacement of the portion of the service line on private property, Citizens’ contractor will replace the service line, including both the portion in the right-of-way and the portion on private property, as one project.
 
  • Option #2:  Property owners contract directly with a plumber/contractor registered and bonded with Citizens, complete a service line modification permit, and replace the portion of the service line on private property at the property owner’s cost. Upon notification, Citizens will attempt to coordinate replacement of the portion of the service line in the right-of-way so that the right-of-way replacement is conducted simultaneously with the property owner’s work. If this timing is not possible, Citizens will replace the right-of-way portion within 45 days, barring unusual circumstances.
 
Lead service lines modified by the property owner must be brought up to current standards, requiring full replacement of the lead service line from the water main to the home or business. Water meters will be reinstalled outside within 1 to 3 feet of the right of way line on the customer's property. As with other lead service line replacement projects, the new service line will be flushed, sampled, and tested, with the test results provided to the property owner.

Request Form for Property-Owner-Initiated Lead Service Line Replacements
 
  1. Abandoned/Inactive Service Line Termination – Lead service lines identified anywhere in the Citizens service territory that have been abandoned or are inactive with no property structure to serve will be terminated at the water main tap by field crews and documented for future reference.

 

Contact the Lead Service Line Replacement Team








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