Lead Line Inventory and Replacement Initiative

The following is background to the lead line initiatives. A recently passed amendment (effective date of December 2021) to NJ legislation Chapter 183 Title 58 that relates directly to lead in drinking water and specifically to water service line identification and replacement that applies to the South Orange Water Utility. The statute is specific to the requirements water utilities must follow for the communication, timing and reporting of lead lines. The following outlines the goals and target dates of the legislation: 

All Water Service Line (WSL) material composition - defined as main to curb stop (utility side) and curb stop to premises meter (customer side).

  • Provide an initial inventory by Feb. 2022 and notice to customers that have currently known lead service lines (either lead or galvanized) and then to those customers when found on an ongoing basis.
  • Provide a plan to the DEP by July 2022 for completing the inventory of all lead lines within two years of the start date.
  • Report to the DEP on progress of this plan every 6 months.

All lead lines are to be replaced within the next ten years with at least 10 percent of the then known lead lines replaced per year.

The Inventory Process
There are four initiatives that provide the information needed for defining the material composition of WSL’s:

  • Normal NJAW O&M(Operations and Maintenance) maintenance processes: 
    • Meter replacements – customer side service line material identification.
    • Utility side service line replacements – includes identification and documentation of customer side service line material.
  • Road repaving:
    • Prior to performing road work, use vacuum excavation of the curb box, allowing the identify of both sides and if lead is found on the utility side replace immediately and if lead on the customer provide notice to the customer.
    • Other repairs that expose service lines – follow same procedures as above
  • AMI Project:
    • A step in the meter replacement is to identify and record the service line material.
    • The Curb box vacuum excavation contractor and meter replacement contractor are to coordinate their schedules and correlate findings.
  • Curb Box excavation:
    • Using a Unit cost bid contract that provides vacuum excavations that are scheduled by groups (streets) of curb boxes so as to identify service line material and provide TAP Card documentation that includes: 
      • Material Identification on both sides
      • GPS location

Known Lead Line Information by Property