Excessive amounts of lead in the body can present health risks. The greatest risks are to young children and pregnant women. Amounts of lead that won’t hurt adults can slow down mental and physical development in growing bodies.Lead generally is not present in source water but can enter the tap water through corrosion of plumbing materials. Prior to 1950, lead was used for exterior plumbing connections and can be found in older buildings. If the service line at your property is made of lead, you are encouraged to utilize this program to replace it and protect the health of residents in the building.
What Can I Do to Reduce the Risk?
- Use only cold water for drinking and cooking
- Before drinking, flush the water system by running the tap until the water is cold to the touch, especially if you have not used the water for a few hours; the longer water remains standing in a lead pipe, the greater the chance lead can leach into the water
- Put a bottle of water in the refrigerator at night for early morning use
- Replace your private lead water service
The Lead Replacement Incentive Program exists to encourage property owners to replace private lead water services. While private water service connections are the responsibility of the owner, BWSC has developed this voluntary grant program as an incentive to remove lead from water services. Financial assistance, in the form of a credit of up to $4000.00 towards the cost of the replacement and the ability to pay interest-free over a 60 month period, is available to eligible property owners.
What is a Private Water Service?
It is the portion of the water service pipe running from the property line into the building. This pipe may be made of or contain lead.
Property owners are eligible to participate in the program if all of the following conditions are met:
- The property is served by a 2 inches or smaller water service pipe, which contains lead
- The water and sewer account for the property is active and not delinquent
- The property owner agrees to have the work done by BWSC
- The work presents no extraordinary physical obstacles. For example, BWSC will not make a repair that requires removal of a porch, stairs, wall, fence, or shrubs
BWSC reserves the right to determine the eligibility of a property.
The estimated cost of the private lead water service replacement will be determined after an initial review of the property. Eligible property owners may qualify for a credit of up to $4000.00 towards the cost of the replacement by enrolling in this voluntary program.
How Can I Pay?
Property owners will have the ability to pay for the lead service replacement either:
- In a lump sum payment
- Interest-free, over a 60 month period as part of the water and sewer bill
How to Apply
To apply, call the Lead Hotline at 617-989-7888. Your property will be reviewed. Once the cost is determined, you may enroll, if eligible. Service replacement work is generally performed from April to October and is subject to availability.
For more information, call the Lead Hotline at 617-989-7888.
Lead Replacement Brochure
Boston Public Health Commission
Department of Environmental Protection
Environmental Protection Agency
Massachusetts Water Resources Authority