Addressing Lead in Drinking Water with the
Drinking Water State Revolving Fund
Communities may use the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) to reduce this public
health concern in their drinking water systems.
Lead is a naturally-occurring element, Lead is
particularly dangerous to children because their
growing bodies absorb more lead than adults and their
brains and nervous systems are more sensitive to the
damaging effects of lead. Adults and children may be
exposed to lead by eating and drinking food or water
containing lead or from dishes or glasses that contain
The most common sources of lead in drinking water
are lead pipes, faucets, and fixtures. Lead pipes are
more likely to be found in older cities and homes built
before 1986. One of the ways lead can enter drinking
water is when lead service lines (the pipes connecting
buildings to the water main) corrode, especially where
the water has high acidity or low mineral content.
The DWSRF can provide financial assistance to
publicly-owned and privately-owned community water
systems, as well as non-profit non-community water
systems, for drinking water infrastructure projects.
Projects must either facilitate the system's compliance
with national primary drinking water regulations or
significantly further the health protection objectives of
the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA).
Each of the 50 states and Puerto Rico operates its own
DWSRF program. They receive annual capitalization
grants from the EPA, which in turn provide low-
interest loans and other types of assistance to water
systems. Repayments of DWSRF loans begin one year
after project completion, with loan terms up to 30
years for most communities, and up to 40 years for
disadvantaged communities.
Additionally, states may use a portion of their
capitalization grant from the EPA as "set-asides" to
help communities build the technical, managerial, and
financial capacities of their systems. With an emphasis
on small systems, these funds help ensure sustainable
infrastructure and public health Investments.
EPA's Lead Resource Page:
Infographic: Lead in Drinking Water:
Lead and Copper Rule:

EPA OGWDW | Addressing Lead in Drinking Water with the DWSRF
EPA 816-F-18-005 March 2019
Figure 1: Diagram of Service Line
Stop Sidewalk
Service Line/Supply Pipe
Water Meter
Infrastructure Replacement
Complete service line replacement is an eligible DWSRF
expense, regardless of pipe material and ownership of
the property on which the service line is located. The EPA
Science Advisory Board report, Evaluation of the
Effectiveness of Partial Lead Service Line Replacements.
September 2011, advises against partial lead service line
replacement and notes that other pipe materials,
including galvanized pipe, can also become compromised
if only partially replaced.
Complete service line replacement is defined by replacing
pipes up to the point of premise plumbing. As shown in
Figure 1, (continuing from the publicly-owned portion of
the pipe often found under a street,) the entire service
line from the public water main to the point at which it
connects with premise plumbing is DWSRF-eligible.
Premise plumbing is defined as the pipes found on the
other side of the isolation valve. That connection may be
inside or outside of homes and other buildings. Note that
premise plumbing is /70feligible for DWSRF funding.
Corrosion Control Optimization
Corrosion control planning and design, as well as
associated capital infrastructure projects, are eligible for
DWSRF loan funding. States may also use set-aside funds
to assist water systems' development of corrosion control
strategies. These strategies could include adding
chemicals to modify drinking water chemistry or
wrapping ductile iron distribution system pipe with a
corrosion-resistant material.
	^ Premise
-Isolation Valve (may also
be located outside of house)
of Water Meter
DWSRF Eligible
Lead Testing and Education
States can use DWSRF set-aside funds to present
workshops, seminars, and other training events that
provide operators with ongoing educational
opportunities. Set-aside activities for educational
purposes may include training school staff members or
small system operators on how to perform lead
monitoring and testing. Pilot testing and lead sampling
(if not for compliance purposes) may also be eligible for
set-aside funding.
Interim/Emergency Protocols
In the case of a "do not drink" order or other lead
emergencies, states may use set-aside funds for limited
infrastructure that is necessary for trucked-in water
(i.e., storage tank and associated piping). This
infrastructure must belong to the water system and
ownership must continue after the emergency has
concluded. Trucked-in water and bottled water are
ineligible for DWSRF assistance.
Water systems receive DWSRF assistance directly from
state agencies. Each state has its own application
procedure. Contact information for each state is posted
at https://www.epa.aov/drinkinawatersrf/state-dwsrf-
^ For more information, visit:

DWSRF Case Studies: Lead On Drinking Water
How communities are using the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) to address this
public health concern in their drinking water systems.
The Town of Stockton, Utah, serving 616 people, had
approximately 7,400 linear feet of cast iron water main
with lead joints in its water system. Most of this piping
was over 100 years old. A nearby sewer collection
system project caused the water mains to fail at an
accelerated rate. Though the sewer project maintained
a 50-foot distance between the drinking water mains,
ground vibrations during construction caused the pipe
joints to leak. This caused the soil underneath to erode,
leaving the water mains unsupported, which led to
additional leaks. The Town estimated that the leaks
were approximately 80 to 100 gallons per minute. On
one road, seven new leaks surfaced within 300 feet of
each other in just one day. With assistance from the
Utah DWSRF, this project replaced all cast iron water
mains in the impacted area, addressing the leaks and
eliminating a source of lead exposure in the system.
This project began in November 2010 and was
completed in April 2011. DWSRF financial assistance for
this project totaled $389,000; this project was co-
funded by the Utah Department of Environmental
The City of Ashland, Wisconsin, received $600,000 in
DWSRF assistance between 2017 and 2018 as 100%
principal forgiveness. The City is using these funds to
replace an estimated 200 private galvanized and lead
service lines (LSL) at residences, schools, or daycare
facilities. Ashland, with approximately 8,000 residents,
was designated as a disadvantaged community under
the Wisconsin DWSRF program. This project prioritizes
LSL replacement for the following situations:
	Households with children under 6 years old;
	Households below the federal poverty level; and
	High-risk minority groups.
To date, the City has requested reimbursement for the
replacement of 51 LSL.
EPA's Lead Resource Page:
Infographic: Lead in Drinking Water:
Lead and Copper Rule:

EPA OGWDW | DVVSRF Case Studies: Lead in Drinking Water
EPA 816-F-18-006 March 2019
The Town of Georgetown, Delaware, utilized
approximately $2.2 million in DWSRF assistance to
replace undersized water mains, lead gooseneck service
connections, galvanized service lines, and water meters.
The Town experienced approximately 50 water main
leaks per year; in 2009, there were 45 leaks costing the
Town over $100,000 for emergency repairs. This
community of over 6,000 residents replaced
approximately 400 service lines, resulting in a major
reduction of water main leaks and sources of lead
throughout the town. Georgetown is currently assessing
service lines still in need of replacement and will seek
funding to replace those pipes.
Claremont, New Hampshire, with a population of 9,000,
utilized $500,000 in DWSRF assistance to replace lead
service lines (LSL) and gooseneck service connections.
Additionally, if paid by the homeowner, the City replaced
the private portion of the LSL. This project was
prioritized after a 2016 lead pipe survey by the NH
Department of Environmental Services. Some of the
City's LSLs are from the early 1900s and are in the older
part of town where many low-income residents and
young families reside. As of 2018, the City has
approximately 80 LSL to replace.
Wisconsin's DWSRF established a two-year program
(2017 and 2018) to assist disadvantaged communities
in replacing lead service lines (LSL) on private property
for projects that result in full LSL replacements. The
state provided assistance in the form of principal
forgiveness. Communities had the option to issue a
Request for Qualifications to prequalify
plumbers/contractors for participation in the private LSL
replacement program. Homeowners contracted directly
with a plumber from the prequalified list and then were
either reimbursed by the community or the community
paid the plumber directly on the homeowner's behalf.
Communities decided how to prioritize and distribute
their funds. The private LSL replacement program could
be used for costs associated with private homes, pre-K-
12 schools, and licensed/certified day care centers.
Commercial and business properties were ineligible,
except in instances where a building contains both a
business and a residence. All associated costs for private
LSL replacement were eligible for funding, including iead
gooseneck service connections, galvanized service lines
that have been served by lead lines/pipes in the past,
investigative costs, engineering costs, and force account
work. The public portion of the service line was eligible
for traditional DWSRF funding.
Water systems receive DWSRF assistance directly from
state agencies. Each state has its own application
procedure. Contact information for each state is posted
at https://www.epa.aov/drinkinawatersrf/state-dwsrf-

For more information, visit: