Boston Water and Sewer Commission (BWSC) announced that it is doubling to $4,000 the credit for replacing lead pipes through its Lead Replacement Incentive Program. A recent review conducted by the Commission estimates that as many as 4,800 property owners may be eligible for the program. For most customers, this credit will cover the total cost of the lead pipe replacement.
Lead water pipes can significantly increase a person’s exposure to lead, a toxic metal that can be harmful to human health. The water provided by BWSC and Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) is lead-free when it leaves the reservoirs because distribution pipes are made mostly of iron and steel. However, lead can leach into tap water through home service lines and internal plumbing, especially if water sits for long periods of time before use. People in homes and businesses built before 1950 should run their drinking water for two to three minutes if it has been stagnant for several hours, before drinking or cooking, to flush out any lead that might have leached into the system.
Under the Lead Replacement Incentive Program, properties owners who may have lead pipes will receive a letter outlining the program and urging them to reach out to the Commission to schedule an evaluation and estimate. Owners are responsible for all pipes on their property. The Commission is giving property owners 60 months interest-free to pay for replacement costs beyond the amount of the incentive. To be eligible for the program, property owners must be current in their payments and agree to have the work performed by the Commission. Lead pipe replacement is subject to availability and is offered on a first-come, first-served basis.
For additional information regarding the program and other lead resources, property owners are encouraged to visit the Commission’s website at: www.bwsc.org, or call the LEAD HOTLINE at (617) 989-7888. About the Boston Water and Sewer Commission: The BWSC manages the largest and oldest system of its kind in New England, providing drinking water and sewer services to more than one million people daily. The BWSC’s goal is to provide residents and businesses in the city of Boston with the best water quality and sewer services available in a way that is both protective of the environment and financially prudent. BWSC was created by the Massachusetts Legislature in 1977, replacing separate water and sewer divisions of the city’s Public Works Department. BWSC is overseen by a three-member Board of Commissioners that is appointed by the Mayor with the approval of the City Council.