Multi-year effort will replace more than 1,000 lead service lines for water customers

Norwich Public Utilities (NPU) launched its Get The Lead Out Campaign as part of a multi-year effort to remove hundreds of water service lines on private properties that contain lead with an open house on February 2, 2023 at the Rose City Senior Center in Norwich.

In the coming months, NPU will conduct a survey of homes throughout Norwich and check for the presence of lead; while the water provided by NPU is free of lead when it leaves the utility’s water treatment plants, some the homes that have water service lines and fixtures that contain lead. Those that do will be scheduled for replacement.

Over the next 3-4 months, NPU and Arcadis will conduct brief, in-home test in at least 150 homes throughout Norwich. The data collected will be entered into a statistical model that will help develop an estimate of the number of homes in Norwich with lead service lines. At this time, NPU is aware of approximately 800 homes that will be eligible for service line replacement; following the survey and calculation, this number is likely to be over 1,200.

In December, 2022, the State Bond Commission awarded NPU with $600,000 to get a ‘jump start’ on lead service line replacements in 2023; at this time, NPU estimates that 50-60 service lines can be replaced this summer with this funding, with an initial target of the Downtown and Greeneville sections of Norwich. These two areas have greater housing density and shorter service lines, which allows for work to be completed in a more cost-effective manner.

As this time, NPU estimates that replacing all of the lead service lines will cost $2.5 million; grant funding from the State’s Department of Public Health will provide a 30% of the cost and federal grants are likely to cover an additional 45%. NPU will be responsible for covering the final 25% of the costs, or $625,000.