The Providence Water Supply Board (PWSB) has embarked on Phase III of the Lead Service Replacement (LSR) project. The purpose: to replace lead public side service lines (those lines that connect the home’s plumbing to the main water line) with copper. Consumption of lead in drinking water can result in serious health risks.
According to a recent PWSB news release, Phase III represents the 3rd year of a 15 year effort to replace more than 25,000 lead service lines with copper. So far, 5,289 connections have been changed. An additional 1,800 are planned to be changed as part of Phase III, at a cost of $3,735 per service , which will likely be paid for, in part, by the planned rate increase.
I was curious to see if I have lead service piping, so I called the LSR hotline (1-877-797-2267) to find out, and, lo and behold, I do. According to the representative, there are no plans as of yet to replace my line. If I wanted it replaced without waiting for the next phase to come around, I would first need to change over the lead lines in my home and the PWSB would then change the public side line once notified.
If you have lead service pipes, you can run the water a little before drinking it, avoid drinking it warm, and get it tested. Otherwise, I suppose you could consume less of it, which would be a good thing anyway, considering the upcoming rate hike.