WILMINGTON, MA — The Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, of Wilmington is a member, announced earlier this week a $100 million interest-free loan program to allow MWRA communities to fully replace service lines made from lead.
The Authority estimates there are as many as 28,000 service lines that are made of lead and in need of replacement in the 47 communities it serves.
Thankfully, none of those lead service lines are located in Wilmington.
No Lead Pipes In The Lines
“Wilmington is fortunate that it historically never used lead pipe for service lines that we have made aware of,” Wilmington DPW Director Mike Woods tells Wilmington Apple. “From very old records, to our efforts on repairing and replacing services since 1992, I have not witnessed any lead service pipes.”
“On a very rare occasion, the DPW has unearthed ‘lead goosenecks’ which are small, typically less than 2 feet, pipes that makes the connection from the water main to the water service pipe,” continues Wood. “When these are encountered, they are removed and replaced with copper. These goosenecks were put in during the 1930’s and 40’s and most, if not all, have been replaced do to leaking because the service pipe has exceeded its useful life.”
Woods notes that Wilmington’s DPW will always replace any damaged residential service line with in-house staff at NO COST to the homeowner for the street portion and typically for less than $1,000 for the portion on private property, which is much less than what the MWRA considers a “typical cost”for such work.
No Lead In The Water
Woods stressed that the Town’s water supply is lead free and in compliance with both the EPA’s and DEP’s Lead and Copper Rule.
“Wilmington maintains a slightly alkaline water to help insure that the water does not aggressively attack the lead solder in one’s home plumbing system,” Woods explained. “This is where many homes can pick up lead in their water.”
Got Concerns Over Lead?
If a resident ever has a concern about lead in their water, Woods recommends they have it tested from an inexpensive certified laboratory. If the test shows elevated levels of lead, both the DEP and EPA have helpful websites on how to remedy the problem. Woods also encourages concerned residents to contact the DPW’s Water Division at 978-658-4711, who can help determine what the problem may be and suggest a recommended course of action.
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