The City of Richmond Department of Public Utilities recognizes National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week (October 23 – 29) as an important time to highlight the resources available for Richmond residents to remove lead from their homes. Earlier this year, DPU re-launched the Lead Service Line Replacement Grant Program (LSLR) with funding that supports property owners in the replacement of lead water service lines.
The LSLR Grant Program began in 2018 and helps homeowners remove lead from their homes by providing financial assistance to replace lead water service lines. The LSLR continues to be funded by the Virginia Department of Health in addition to new funding provided through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Richmond, one of three localities in the commonwealth to first receive grant funding, has received roughly $1.5 million in funds since 2018.
“Now, more than ever we recognize our responsibility and role in ensuring the public health of our community is always foremost. I’m especially proud of the work my team does in continuing to provide clean, safe and reliable drinking water and in administering this grant program. Collaborative partnerships, like this with the VDH and federal partners, are essential with limited public funding and investment,” says April Bingham, DPU director.
The water supplied by the city is safe and has won numerous awards for its quality – the latest being the Gold Award from VDH. The city also treats water with an inhibitor to help mitigate the possibility of lead being deposited in the pipes. But lead can get into tap water through home service piping, lead solder used in plumbing and some brass fixtures. Homes built prior to the mid-1980s may contain lead piping or other lead components that may result in small amounts of lead being deposited in the water that goes to homes.
DPU publishes a Consumer Confidence Report each year that highlights the quality of its drinking water and recently published the Drinking Water Quality Report that provides a comprehensive overview of the Department of Public Utilities’ practices and programs. Hard copies are available upon request and at local libraries. Additionally, water utility customers can request testing of their drinking water at any time.
More information on lead in water or the Lead Service Line Replacement Grant Program can be found here or by calling the Lead Hotline at 804-646-8600.