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Lead Service Line Inventory Requirement for Public Water Systems

Background

Existing laws require public water systems (PWS) to take specified actions to test for and remediate certain contaminants in drinking water, including lead and copper. Existing law prohibits the use of any pipe, pipe or plumbing fitting or fixture, solder, or flux that is not "lead free" in the installation or repair of any public water system or any plumbing in a facility providing water for human consumption, except as specified. Senate Bill (SB) 1398 became effective on September 27, 2016, and added Section 116885 to the Health and Safety Code (HSC). HSC Section 116885 requires PWS to compile an inventory of known lead user service lines in use in its distribution system and identify areas that may have lead user service lines in use in its distribution system by July 1, 2018. "User service line" means the pipe, tubing, and fittings connecting a water main to an individual water meter or service connection.

HSC Section 116885 requires PWS, after completing the inventory, to provide a timeline for replacement of known lead user service lines in the distribution system to the State Water Resources Control Board (State Board). In addition, by July 1, 2020, PWS with areas that may have lead user service lines in use in its distribution system must either determine the existence or absence of lead user service lines in these areas and provide that information to the State Board, or provide a timeline for replacement of the user service lines whose content cannot be determined. The State Board must approve the replacement timeline.

As of April 28, 2017, SB 427 is in the legislative process and has not been approved or vetoed. SB 427, as drafted, would affect who has to comply with the lead service line inventory requirement in addition to other implementation details. For more information, please see our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document (link below).

For more information, click on the links below.

What is My Public Water System Required to do?

HSC Section 116885 requires all PWS to compile an inventory of known partial or total lead user service lines in use in its distribution system. The inventory must include all user service lines that are active and those that are reasonably expected to become active in the future. Also, Section 116885 requires the PWS identify areas that may have lead user service lines in use, and/or identify any areas within the PWS distribution system that the PWS cannot identify the material that is being used for the service line. PWS will be required to propose a schedule to replace all the known lead user service lines and user service lines constructed of unknown material.

Who is required to comply with HSC Section 116885?

All PWS are required to compile an inventory. A PWS is defined as "a system for the provision of water for human consumption through pipes or other constructed conveyances that has 15 or more service connections or regularly serves at least 25 individuals daily at least 60 days out of the year." A PWS should have a domestic water supply permit issued by the Division of Drinking Water (DDW) or one of our Local Primacy Agency (LPA) partners.

Pending legislation, Senate Bill 427, would add additional sections and make various changes to the HSC. One important change would be that only community water systems would be required to compile an inventory. Please continue to watch the progress of SB 427 and the FAQ and webpage will be updated if the bill becomes law.

What should I be doing now?

All PWS need to begin compiling an inventory of user service lines and identify areas of known lead user service lines and areas that may have lead user service lines (user service lines whose content cannot be determined). Resources to assist PWS compile an inventory are listed below.

All PWS will need to provide DDW a letter explaining how the inventory was determined and the results. Example certification letters and how to submit your certification will be provided soon. The PWS needs to submit the inventory letter or timeline electronically.  Maps need to be in GIS layer or PDF format.

DDW is in the process of developing a web portal to receive these documents electronically. DDW anticipates the web portal will be ready by October 15, 2017. Once the web portal is ready, DDW will notify PWSs. The FAQ will also be updated.

Resources/Supplemental Material