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California’s lead pipe reporting regulations

On Behalf of | Mar 1, 2023 | Environmental Law

Cities, tribes and other organized areas in California have until October 16. 2024, to comply with the new lead and copper inventory rule announced by the Environmental Protection Agency. The law aims to eliminate lead contamination in drinking water pipes, especially in areas where children live and play. The statute contains several components, including a provision for funding, designed to help disadvantaged areas comply quickly.

Inventory creation

Agencies must submit their initial report by October 2024 outlining all water lines within their jurisdiction as lead, galvanized requiring replacement, non-lead or lead-status unknown. Once the water agency files the initial report, it must be updated annually.

Material investigations

Entities in charge of water lines may use various methods to determine each line’s content. These include examination of historical documents, visual inspection, excavation and water sampling.

System reporting

Water distributors must report the number of lead lines or lines where they are unsure of their content directly to the Environmental Protection Agency. The agency has created a template that organizations can use to make reporting the information more manageable. This template could reduce the chances that the report will be cited for non-compliance.

Public accessibility of service line information

Responsible parties complying with this environmental law must make the inventory accessible to the public, and it must be available online if the entity serves more than 5,000 people. Jurisdictions have 30 days after the completion of the survey to advise residents of the survey’s results.

All community and non-transient non-community water systems have until October 2024 to report their findings from an inventory identifying all lead or suspected lead water pipes in their service area.