Discouraging Partial Replacement
Partial replacements are likely to increase lead levels for a potentially lengthy period of time after replacement. While the goal of the Collaborative is to help communities advance full LSL replacement and minimize partial replacements, there are numerous obstacles that may prevent this from occurring. To ensure success for full LSL replacements, partial LSL replacements should be viewed as a temporary, stopgap, and costly measure pursued only in exceptional cases.
The goal is replacing LSLs in their entirety. When it is only feasible to remove a portion of the LSL, public health advisories should be provided, and the balance of the replacement should be accomplished as soon as practical. If completing the replacement requires more than a few weeks, the community’s replacement effort should track the location of partial replacements and include measures to eventually complete the replacement process.
An accelerated LSL replacement initiative must identify effective strategies for the specific community. Challenges will differ between communities of different sizes and for those where homes rely on private wells. Common obstacles include lack of funds, difficulty in scheduling work, issues associated with ownership/control of the service lines, and difficulties in coordination. These obstacles exist both for the water system and its customers. Communities must recognize these challenges and participate in developing solutions to encourage the acceleration of full LSL replacement.
Additional measures when conducting partial replacements
- Pursue a full LSL replacement.
- Prior to restoring water service, thoroughly flush the service line prior to use by occupants at a high velocity and clean out aerators.
- Occupants should consider using filters meeting ANSI/NSF 53 certification for lead removal after a partial LSL replacement.
- The use of bottled water for consumption may be an alternative to filters.
Connecting a copper line to lead line may cause a chemical reaction between these two dissimilar materials. In order to minimize the potential for release of lead due to galvanic corrosion, a non-conductive plastic coupling should be used. But a plastic coupling does not eliminate the potential for continued lead corrosion to occur.