Service Line Replacement Project Background
The Erie Water Works (EWW) maintains an effective corrosion control treatment program in full compliance with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Lead and Copper Rule. This treatment has kept EWW’s lead test results extremely low or far below allowable levels. However, EWW believes that eliminating all potential sources of lead is the best way to protect our customers. For more than 20 years, the EWW Distribution Department has been removing “lead goosenecks” from the water distribution system. During that time, over 4,000 have been removed as a result of EWW’s proactive infrastructure renewal efforts. EWW annually budgets about $1 million in order to continue the work of this important program.
The Service Line Replacement Project will replace or abandon nearly all remaining water service connections that have lead goosenecks in the EWW distribution system, and will also replace many private water service lines if they consist of wrought iron or galvanized pipe. Since 2021, EWW has applied for and has been successfully awarded over $48 million in federal grants and low interest loans in multiple phases (Phase 1 – $6.5 million grant, Phase 2 – $14.9 million grant / $3.1 million loan, Phase 3 – $4.1 million grant / $1.9 million loan, Phase 4 – $14.1 million grant / $3.9 million loan) to be used specifically to replace water service connections that have “lead goosenecks” throughout the City of Erie. The Phase 1 project is complete as of fall 2023, the Phase 2 project began in 2023, the Phase 3 project will begin in 2024, and the Phase 4 project will begin in 2024. Although no longer permitted, and not installed within EWW’s distribution system since the mid-1940’s, lead goosenecks are one to two feet sections of pipe that were used to connect wrought iron service lines to EWW’s older cast-iron water mains. Please refer to the graphic shown here which illustrates what a water service connection (publicly owned by EWW) and water service line (privately owned by the property owner) looks like.
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