Michigan’s Lead and Copper Rule (LCR) requires communities to locate and prioritize pipes for removal. It also decreases the action limit for lead in drinking water.
How is Ann Arbor impacted?
Ann Arbor, like many communities, previously used a small piece of lead pipe to connect galvanized water service lines to the water mains. This small piece of lead pipe, known as a “gooseneck” was used on some service lines installed in the 1920's and between 1942 and 1945. All of the known lead goosenecks have been removed. However, the LCR requires water systems to replace all galvanized service lines that used to be connected to those lead goosenecks.
In 2019, Ann Arbor's Water System Advisory Council (WSAC) was formed to advise and assist with the creation of materials and outreach plans to educate our community about lead in drinking water and inform owners whose service lines may need replacement.
Lead service line inventory
The City of Ann Arbor Public Works Unit is in the process of completing a materials inventory of the public and privately owned portions of water service lines. The city has historic data on the publicly owned portion and is now in the process of gathering data on the privately owned portion of the service lines. Data on service line material will be collected as part of the water meter upgrade project
, which currently is underway.
Service line map
The City has created a map for the public to view this information. As service line material is verified, the map will be updated to reflect current data. The map also reflects those lines that have been determined to be eligible for replacement. Once materials are verified, the city will know exactly how many lines it needs to replace.
Lead and Copper Rule
Per the new LCR, the city must verify our inventory results by 2025. However, the city has set a more aggressive goal to complete this work by 2022. The city intends to use its upcoming residential water meter replacement project
to verify the inventory results. As part of this project, the city's water meter replacement contractor will have scheduled access inside customer's homes and businesses and will be able to verify the service line material. Once the service line material is verified, a letter will be mailed to resident occupants informing them of the results and if their service line meets the criteria for replacement.
The LCR requires water systems to begin replacements in 2021, and continue to replace lines at a rate of 5% per year. The city will coordinate service line replacements with water main and road projects to minimize road and service disruptions. The city will also replace leaking service lines as they are discovered. If your line does meet criteria for replacement, the city will notify you during the year you are scheduled for replacement. Please be patient and remember we are coordinating replacements with road projects, so we do not have a long-term detailed schedule.
Ann Arbor is well positioned to implement recent changes to the LCR because we are one of the communities who have been consistently below the regulated action levels. Because of our consistently low levels, the city is on a three-year monitoring cycle. The city's scheduled sampling for lead and copper is summer 2020. Specific results are available in the city's annual drinking water quality report.
Free lead testing kits
The City of Ann Arbor offers one free lead test per household. If you are interested, please visit www.a2gov.org/leadsample or contact the Water Treatment Plant at 734.994.2840 to arrange pick-up of a testing kit. Kits may be picked up and dropped off during normal business hours, Monday through Friday, 9am to 5pm. If you would like more than one test, each additional test is $25.
Tips to Reduce Potential Lead Exposure
Ann Arbor Water System Advisory Board
The focus of the Ann Arbor Water System Advisory Council (WSAC) includes:
- Advising and assisting with the creation of materials and plans to educate our community about lead in drinking water.
- Review public awareness campaign materials provided by the statewide drinking water advisory council.
- Provide guidance to the city on outreach to property owners whose service lines need replacement.
The WSAC will meet at least twice per year even though state guidelines only require annually.
- Jack Cederquist, Resident
- Jaclyn Bates, Washtenaw County Environmental Health Department
- Molly Maciejewski, City of Ann Arbor Public Works Manager
- Rebecca Lahr, City of Ann Arbor Drinking Water Quality Manager
- Daniel Brown, Huron River Watershed Council Director
- Lisa Wondrash, City of Ann Arbor Communications Director
- Chuanwu (Wu) Xi, Ph.D. Professor of Environmental Health Sciences, Professor of Global Public Health U-M School of Public Health