Boston Water and Sewer Commission (BWSC) announced that it now offers private lead service lines replacement at no cost to property owners, a move that is expected to accelerate BWSC’s intensive efforts to make Boston lead pipe free. Funding from the Federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will defray the costs of the initiative and enable Boston to replace remaining private lead service lines for free.
“Some ratepayers had rightly been concerned about their share of lead replacement costs, but all financial barriers have now been eliminated,” stated BWSC Executive Director Henry
F. Vitale. “Property owners with lead service lines should call BWSC and schedule to have these lines removed and replaced.”
With its existing Lead Service Replacement Incentive program, BWSC has long been a national leader in private lead service line replacement and has removed thousands over the last three decades. Most recently, BWSC offered private property owners grants up to $4,000 for lead service pipe removal, an amount that often covers the entire job or leaves a balance that can be repaid interest free. For various reasons some owners were left with larger remaining costs to remove their lead service pipes, especially those whose properties are set back from the street, a situation that increases lead pipe replacement costs. Now, Boston property owners who would like to take advantage of this no-cost program are urged to call the BWSC Lead Hotline for assistance at (617) 989-7888. Customers may also visit the Commission’s Lead Service Map at:
to look up information the Commission may have on the status of their property.
At the source of supply, Boston’s drinking water, which is provided by the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA), is lead-free when it leaves the reservoirs. Neither MWRA’s nor BWSC’s water distribution mains contain lead. Lead can enter the drinking water when water remains standing in a lead service line for long periods of time. Also, lead
solder used in plumbing. and older brass fixtures can contribute to lead in drinking water.
Replacement of private lead service lines is an important public health issue because excessive amounts of lead in the body can cause serious adverse health effects.
For more information about lead in drinking water and to find out how to participate in the new No Cost Lead Replacement Incentive Program, Boston residents may contact the Commission at the Lead Hotline (617) 989-7888.