A minute with the Mayor: Learn more about NPU’s Get the Lead Out program

By Mayor Peter Nystrom

I have always loved the long and proud history of Norwich. However, the age of our city means we have a number of very old houses in our community, which significantly increases the likelihood of homes in Norwich that might contain pipes that contain lead for their water service.

If your home was built before 1986, and you are an NPU water customer, the service line that bringing water into your house – and is your property – maybe made of lead and should be replaced.

Fortunately, Norwich Public Utilities (NPU) is undertaking a comprehensive program, called Get the Lead Out – to comply with a federal mandate to identify and ultimately remove lead service lines throughout our city. This type of project is underway with every water company across the United States.

In Norwich, this work will take place over the next several years and will ultimately result in safer and healthier homes for thousands of our residents.

The water leaving NPU’s water treatment plants every day is free of lead; thousands of tests are completed each year to confirm that the water provided to customers is safe and healthy. But many older homes in Norwich have household fixtures, plumbing, and water service lines that contain lead.

NPU has created an initial inventory of lead service lines based on their construction records, but these records are not complete. To improve their inventory, NPU is conducting field surveys throughout Norwich to identify service lines that must be replaced.

NPU is working with a well-regarded contractor, Arcadis, to complete surveys for lead service lines that can be competed in three ways: a ‘scratch and magnet’ test near the water main; an in-home lead confirmation test near the water meter, or a small excavation at the along the service line, typically near the intersection of the property line and the City’s property.The testing and replacement of the service lines will be completed by NPU and Arcadis without any out-of-pocket costs to the customer.

NPU recently hosted two open houses to share more information on this important initiative and has a great deal of information on its website (www. norwichpublicutilities.com). You can also reach out to the NPU Customer Service Center at 860.887-2555 for more information.

Exposure to lead, especially for young children, can have very significant health implications. Please take the time to learn more about this important project and reach out to NPU to arrange for a quick assessment of your service line and plumbing, which should take only a few minutes.