Release Date: February 18,2021
Mayor Horrigan Announces Upcoming Lead Service Line Replacement Program for 2021 and 2022
Akron’s efforts to remove and replace lead service lines continue with substantial funding from the Ohio EPA over the next two years
Akron, Ohio, February 18, 2021—The City of Akron continues its commitment to the annual Lead Service Line Replacement Program to reduce the number of homes still connected to lead services. For 2021 and 2022, Akron applied for, and has been awarded, one million dollars in funding each year from the Ohio EPA through a WSRLA (Water Supply Revolving Loan Account) Loan. The funds from this loan are not required to be paid back, which results in savings for the City. Akron will utilize this opportunity to replace as many lead services as possible while this funding is available.
"I'm excited to once again offer the lead service line replacement program to Akron residents," said Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan. "Akron has a long history of continuously improving our infrastructure in order to eliminate lead in our water supply. These funds will help us continue that mission to provide safe, reliable drinking water to our customers."
Current records show there are approximately 4,000 lead services remaining within the City. These services make up just 4.7% of all services. This number has been substantially reduced since the 1950’s when there were upwards of 50,000 lead services. Akron has been nationally recognized as a leader in the industry for its continuous efforts to eliminate lead services within the water distribution system over many decades. Many municipalities did not start removing lead from their systems until after 1986, whereas Akron began the process decades prior. Akron has been testing its water for lead at customers’ taps since 1992 when the new lead regulations began. Akron water has consistently tested significantly below the EPA limit. During the 2020 testing period, Akron reported lead at 0.00155 milligrams per liter which is 90% below the EPA action level.
For 2021, roughly 150 homes have been selected for the program, while in 2022, that number will double to 300 as the City will also be eligible to receive another one million dollars in funding through an OPWC (Ohio Public Works Commission) Grant. The end goal is for all lead material to be eliminated within the water distribution system.
Homes selected for the program are determined through the City’s GIS system, which tracks the service line and houseline material at each residence in the City. The focus for the next two years will be those homes that have an identified lead service line within the right-of-way, a houseline with unknown material (assumed to be lead or galvanized), and are active Akron Water customers. While replacing the service line, if the resident’s houseline is determined to be lead or galvanized material, a hired contractor will replace the line with copper, free of charge. Copper is proven to be a durable, corrosion-resistant, and environmentally friendly material.
Residents who have been chosen for the upcoming program have already been contacted via letters sent in December 2020. A standard work agreement will be signed by the home owner to allow for work on private property for the houseline replacement. Construction has begun for the 2021 program and will continue for most of the year with the next project and additional funding to follow soon after, carrying into 2022.
For any information regarding the Lead Service Line Replacement Program, contact Nick Marshall in the Water Engineering Division at (330) 375-2793 or NMarshall@akronohio.gov.