Massachusetts makes great strides to replace century-old lead pipes in drinking water infrastructure

(UI) – On May 20, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was joined by Malden Mayor Gary Christenson, Democratic Whip Katherine Clark, Secretary Rebecca Tepper, MassDEP Commissioner Bonnie Heiple, and other Massachusetts leaders, stakeholders and locals to see what the city's $1.4 million Bipartisan Infrastructure Law grant to help replace lead pipes and deliver safe drinking water looks like in Malden.

The City of Malden - with extensive lead service lines within its distribution system - has been working with Mass DEP for about 20 years to document and eliminate lead pipes.

They have completed 265 test pit explorations to identify lead service lines, and the city is looking to classify 1600 unknown services within their system.

Additionally, they have developed a robust GIS system to track and document their progress and their plans for customer surveys, home inspections and multi-lingual educational materials to help every resident understand the science are on track.

"This investment by the Biden-Harris Administration positions Massachusetts to continue removing lead from historic drinking water infrastructure," said Commissioner Bonnie Heiple of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP). "We've made great strides in removing lead pipes, but some remain and have been in place for nearly a century. It is high time to finish this work, and we're grateful for the municipal partnerships and federal funding that make this possible."

On May 2,2024, EPA announced over $50 million of funding for President Biden's Investing in America agenda to help Massachusetts identify and replace lead service lines, preventing exposure to lead in drinking water.

Other significant awards in MA include:

Boston Water and Sewer Commission received $4,698,888 through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, including $1,879,555 in additional subsidy, to eliminate lead water services in both the public way and private property.

The Fall River Water Department has received $4,150,000 through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, including $2,400,778 in additional subsidy, to replace 107 partial lead service lines in public-right-of-way and the public right-of-way of 533 of existing full lead service lines.

The Methuen Water Department received $870,000 through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to develop an inventory of water service lines to identify any lead service lines that would need replacement.

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