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TWDB provides first financial assistance commitments to lead service line projects Posted on June 10, 2024

The water tower in Brady is a landmark in McCulloch County.

Two Texas cities are the first to receive financial assistance commitments for Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) lead service line replacement (LSLR) projects through the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB).

During its May Board meeting, the TWDB approved $5,234,693 in financial assistance to the City of Brady to complete an inventory of the City's water service lines and  identify connections with lead or galvanized materials. The funds will also be used to replace an estimated 400 service line connections. 

The City of Devine received a financial assistance commitment of $11,561,224 to prepare a geographic information system database of existing water service lines, complete an initial lead service line inventory, and replace an estimated 3,779 lead service line connections.

Water service lines are the pipes that connect a home to the water main. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), lead pipes are more likely to be found in older cities and homes built before 1986. As part of the 2021 Lead and Copper Rule Revisions, the EPA requires all water systems to prepare and maintain an inventory of service line materials. In Texas, initial inventories must be submitted to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality by October 2024.

“The effort by Texas water suppliers to inventory all service lines within their service area will inform future lead service line replacement projects,” said Patrick Kading, Program Administration Team Manager at the TWDB. “Ultimately, this work is part of the overall approach by the EPA and the State to ensure safe, clean drinking water in every home. 

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act appropriated funds through the DWSRF for lead service line projects and inventory activities. Eligible applicants include existing community public water systems, non-profit water supply corporations, privately owned community water systems, nonprofit or non-community public water systems, and state agencies.

The financial assistance available to water systems offers highly favorable terms, including 51 percent principal forgiveness and 49 percent loan. This means that more than half of the financing is provided as a grant that water systems do not need to repay. For inventory projects, the loan portion has a zero percent interest rate. 

Kading added that the TWDB’s Asset Management Program for Small Systems is designed to assist small water and wastewater systems in determining the current condition of their assets and to plan for capital improvement projects, which could include lead service line projects.

For more information about the DWSRF LSLR program, visit the TWDB’s website.

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