Lead and Copper Rule
In 2021, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) enacted amendments to its Lead and Copper Rule to enhance the protection of children and communities from potential risks associated with lead exposure in drinking water. A notable enhancement in the revised rule mandates that water utilities identify and publicize the locations of lead service lines. In early 2023, the City of Newark initiated efforts to inventory its water service lines.
The City is responsible for maintaining water service lines from the water main to the curb stop valve. Conversely, the service line extending from the curb stop valve to the building falls under the ownership and maintenance of the property owner.
Serving approximately 10,000 customers within and surrounding the City of Newark’s municipal jurisdiction, the city’s water department is carrying out an inventory of service lines on both utility-owned (public) and private property, following the directives of the Lead and Copper Rule revisions.
The City is in the process of scrutinizing its historic standards and specifications for previous water service installations, as-built information during neighborhood development, and physical field observations. This is to document the material type of the utility-owned portion of the service.
While the material type of the water service pipe on the private side often mirrors that of the utility-owned side, variations do occur. As a result, the City is asking its water customers to assist by completing a straightforward web-based survey. The survey's outcomes will not only confirm the material type but can also be employed as a control point to identify and address spatial data gaps.
The City emphasizes that this inventory is in line with new EPA rule requirements and aims to enhance protection, particularly for children and pregnant women, across the country. This initiative does not stem from any concerns related to lead in the city’s water system. In fact, lead and copper levels are tested triennially, as mandated, and the levels for both elements are significantly below the required action level. The city’s 2022 Water Quality Report provides in-depth details on sample levels for copper, lead, and other regulated contaminants.
Free Water for a Year!
To encourage the public's participation in the customer side service survey, the City has launched a lottery with a chance to win free water for a year. One drawing will be held approximately every three months. If your property submits a survey response before the first drawing, you will have four opportunities to win.
To participate in the survey, please click the following link: www.newarkde.gov/lead
Lottery drawings will be held during the below schedule:
- First Drawing: Week of September 3rd 2023
- Second Drawing: Week of December 3rd 2023
- Third Drawing: Week of March 3rd 2024
- Final Drawing: Week of June 2nd 2024
Other Revised Lead And Copper Rule Improvements
- If lead service lines are identified during the inventory process, the City of Newark will be required to devise a lead service line replacement plan and adjust our sampling plan and protocols.
- The City will carry out annual testing at elementary schools and childcare facilities that they serve.
- If required, the City will review its Corrosion Control Treatment. This will be necessary if laboratory results indicate an exceeded trigger level.
Lead Service Line Lottery Terms and Conditions
- A credit of up to $1,000 for a consecutive 12-month period will be applied to the water bill of the winning property.
- A property that wins is not eligible for subsequent drawings.
- To qualify, you must be a City of Newark Water customer.
- Only one entry is allowed per customer address.
- Only residential properties with a dedicated water service and meter are eligible for the lottery. Qualifying properties include single-family homes, duplexes, and townhouses.
- A verified survey submission automatically qualifies the property for all remaining lottery drawings. For instance, a property that submits a survey prior to the first drawing will have four chances to win, whereas a property that submits its survey after the third drawing will only have one chance to win.
- City staff will validate all survey submissions. Customers can check the status of their submission by visiting newarkde.gov/leadsurveyresults