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Texas Water Development Board accepting applications to fund removal of lead service lines Posted on April 11, 2023

The Lead Service Line Replacement program requires utilities to evaluate the entire service line that runs from the public water main to the building inlet regardless of responsibility or ownership.

Through May 23, the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) is accepting project information forms for Lead Service Line Replacement (LSLR) financial assistance through the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF).

Funding may be used to comply with the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) requirement that public water systems develop a service line inventory by October 2024 to assess the presence of lead in systems and implement mitigation efforts to remove and/or replace lead service lines. Specifically, the inventory and mitigation efforts will target water service lines from the water main to the building inlet. Premise plumbing is not eligible under this funding.

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) appropriated additional funds for the DWSRF program, including appropriations for projects and associated activities directly connected to identifying, planning, designing, and replacing lead service lines.

A total of $213,455,000 in below-market interest rate loans and principal forgiveness is available for projects that qualify under the 2023 LSLR Intended Use Plan. All eligible project proposals will receive a portion of principal forgiveness and loan funds.  The loan portion of any project covering service line inventories will be financed at 0 percent interest. The loan/bond financing for any planning, acquisition, design, and/or construction work will be at the DWSRF program's regular reduced interest rate. The TWDB aims to begin committing funds from the DWSRF for lead service line projects in December 2023.

Eligible applicants for the LSLR program include existing community public water systems, non-profit water supply corporations, privately-owned community water systems, non-profit or non-community public water systems, and state agencies.

Examples of eligible LSLR projects include developing or updating lead service line inventories, non-routine lead sampling, and removing lead service lines. Water utilities can also qualify for funding to help with site restoration, including landscaping and sidewalk and driveway repairs. Entities are encouraged to request the total amount needed to address any possible lead service line replacement construction. They may close on the funds needed after their service line inventory is completed by October 2024.

The TWDB administers two Environmental Protection Agency programs, the DWSRF and the Clean Water State Revolving Fund. The DWSRF, established in 1996 and authorized by the Safe Drinking Water Act, provides low-cost financial assistance for planning, acquiring, designing, and constructing water infrastructure.

For more information on the Lead Service Line Replacement program, visit the TWDB’s Lead Service Line Replacement program webpage at www.twdb.texas.gov/financial/programs/Lead-SLR.

The TWDB is hosting webinars in April and May to share valuable information and discuss project needs for the LSLR Intended Use Plan, including eligibility, requirements, timeline, financial assistance, project options, project criteria, and more. Complete the registration form to receive a webinar link.

This article is posted in Water Planning / Financial Assistance / Water Supply .