Lead Service Line Replacement Funding

The Division of Water Infrastructure will be offering funding specifically to identify, inventory, and replace lead service lines and lead connectors throughout water systems. Information specific to North Carolina's lead service line replacement funding will be shared here soon. The Division is developing a process by which local governments, non-profit water companies, and investor-owned water utilities can request low-interest loans and principal forgiveness. The process will be announced here and in a webinar in February 2023.

Press Release

DEQ announces new lead service line replacement funding during summit on water infrastructure needs and funding in disadvantaged areas

What are Lead Service Lines and Lead Connectors?

A service line is the water line that connects a home or business to the main water line on the street. Connectors (e.g., goosenecks and pigtails) are components that connect pipes to one another. Lead service lines and lead connectors are service lines and connectors that are made of lead or made of galvanized iron or galvanized steel that are downstream of other lead components. Service lines are located from the public water main up to building at the point of premise plumbing, which are the pipes found on the other side of the isolation valve.

Funding is available to replace lead service lines and lead connectors between the main water line and the point of the premise plumbing, usually outdoors (up to the isolation valve). It cannot be used to replace indoor plumbing or indoor fixtures.

An illustration shows how water enters a house through pipes

Image source: US EPA

Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Funding

The federal Infrastructure Investments and Jobs Act, also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), invests $15 billion nationwide towards Lead Service Line Replacement through the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund over five years. With this investment, 49% of funds will be provided to communities as principal forgiveness loans (like grants) to disadvantaged communities and disadvantaged areas, and 51% of funds will be available as low-interest loans. North Carolina’s allotment depends on the demand for funding from eligible entities.

Eligible Applicants

Local governments, non-profit water companies, and investor-owned water utilities are eligible to apply for Lead Service Line Replacement funds.

Eligible Projects

As listed on page 39 (Attachment 1 – Appendix D) of the BIL Implementation Memo published by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (link: https://www.epa.gov/system/files/documents/2022-03/combined_srf-implementation-memo_final_03.2022.pdf):

  • Inventorying and complete removal of lead service lines (public and privately-owned portion) or service lines made of galvanized iron or galvanized steel (that are currently or have previously been downstream of lead components) and replacement with a pipe that meets the requirements established under 40 CFR 143 and which complies with state and local plumbing codes and or building codes.
  • Removal of lead or galvanized goosenecks, pigtails, and connectors, and replacement with an acceptable material that meets the requirements established under 40 CFR 143 and which complies with state and local plumbing codes and or building codes.
  • Replacement of curb stops, curb stop boxes, and other service line appurtenances that are removed as part of full LSLR.
  • Site restoration, including landscaping, sidewalks, driveways, etc. if the removal was necessary to replace the lead service line.
  • Permit fees if the fees are normal, required, and specific to the LSLR. It is recommended that communities waive these fees.
  • Temporary pitcher filters or point-of-use (POU) devices certified by an American National Standards Institute accredited certifier to reduce lead during or for a short time period after LSLR projects.
  • Development or updating of lead service line inventories, including locating and mapping lead service lines, and identifying and inventorying the materials of “unknown material” service lines.
  • Planning and design for infrastructure projects listed above.
  • Non-routine lead sampling (if not for compliance purposes) as part of a LSLR project.

How to Apply for Funding?

Coming soon.

Lead Service Line Inventories for the Lead and Copper Rule Revisions

To comply with the Lead and Copper Rule Revisions, all community water systems and all non-transient non-community water systems are required to develop an initial inventory of all service line connections, both system-owned and customer-owned. The Public Water Supply Section of the Division of Water Resources provides information on these inventories on this webpage: https://deq.nc.gov/about/divisions/water-resources/drinking-water/lead-service-line-inventory

More information:

Funding for Lead Service Line Replacement | US EPA

Funding and Technical Resources for Lead Service Line Replacement in Small and Disadvantaged Communities (epa.gov)