On Friday, December 9, 2022, the State Bond Commission approved $600,000 in funding for Norwich Public Utilities (NPU) to enhance the utilities’ efforts to upgrade and improve private water service lines to individual residences that contain lead.
“This is great news for NPU and our customers as this very important work move forward,” said Chris LaRose, General Manager of NPU. “This funding will allow us to get started replacing dozens of water service lines on private properties, improving the health and safety in homes and businesses throughout Norwich.”
Starting next summer, NPU will be replacing hundreds of water service lines on private property for both residential and commercial customers. The funding provided by the Bond Commission will allow NPU to begin work on areas with a disproportionate amount of older and low-income housing.
NPU estimates that this most recent funding will facilitate the replacement of up to 70 private water lines in Norwich. The precise locations and schedule for this work are being developed in the weeks ahead, and it is likely that this work can be completed before Labor Day, 2023.
NPU will also undertake a compressive survey of its entire water system to confirm all material types in water service lines in the coming months. Preliminary testing results indicate there are at least 800 water service lines that are eligible for replacement. The survey in 2023 is likely to identify several hundred more in Norwich.
Earlier this year, the Department of Public Health awarded NPU $350,000 for planning and surveying work; NPU anticipates up to $5.65 million for the construction phase of this project, which is likely to stretch out at least five years.
State Senator Cathy Osten, Co-Chairman of the General Assembly’s Appropriations Committee, was instrumental in securing this funding.
“The funding approved by the State Bond Commission will be very helpful as NPU gets started on a critically important project. Getting a head start on modernizing their water infrastructure in Norwich will have public health and safety benefits for generations to come,” said Osten.