The Clear Take on Water and Wastewater Today

Making sense of the Lead and Copper Rule

Jonathan McDonald

The proposed revisions to the federal Lead and Copper Rule are a hot topic in the water industry – and for good reason. Operators and city officials could be impacted in ways that are far-reaching and require extensive resources. PeopleService Director of Operational Programs Jonathan McDonald is keeping a close eye on this complex issue. He answered a few questions to help make sense of it all.

Question: What are a few of the most important ways the new regulations would affect local water systems?

Answer: The new regulations the EPA has been putting in place require cities to do a service line inventory, which is required to be completed by October 16, 2024. With this inventory list, if your system has lead service lines, the city will be required to prepare a lead service line replacement plan. They will also have to revise sampling protocols and communications for the 5th liter sampling if there are lead service lines in their system.

Question: Are there actions that operators, city officials, etc., should be taking to prepare?

Answer: Right now, operators and city officials should be starting their inventory list if they have not already started. This is the first step of the new lead and copper rule revision. With this list, most states have their own inventory list that operators and cities will have to fill out on the state website. Once they have completed their list of all the service lines in their communities, they can start to prepare a lead service line replacement plan.

Question: Where should people go if they have more questions about the new regulations?

Answer: They can contact their state regulatory agency or they can visit the EPA website for more information about the rule revisions. The EPA is still releasing more information, so it’s important to stay current with any new information.