Residents Asked to Participate in Water Service Line Inventory Project
Published on November 08, 2023
The City of Sioux Falls’ Water Purification team is participating in a mandatory, nationwide initiative to inventory the location and makeup of public and private water service lines in the community, and they need the help of Sioux Falls homeowners to complete the job.
The water service line inventory, which is required by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and supported by the South Dakota Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources (DANR), requests property owners take a few minutes to look at and test the material of the water service line pipe within their home or business and report what they find via online survey at www.sdwaterpipes.com. The website, which was developed by DANR for water providers across the state, has resources, commonly asked questions, a guide for testing the service line, and a link to the online survey.
The primary goal of the inventory is to identify any remaining public and private lead pipes within drinking water systems, as lead is a known toxin for humans and animals. Congress banned the use of lead pipes and fixtures in 1986. The inventory is the latest in a decades-long push to remove and replace lead from systems across the U.S.
In Sioux Falls, the City’s Water Purification team has proactively identified and removed lead pipes and fixtures from the water system for the past several decades and has worked with private property owners to the same.
“Thanks to the foresight of leadership and property owners who came before us, most public and private lead service lines have been replaced in Sioux Falls,” said Ted Lewis, Environmental Engineer for the City of Sioux Falls. “From the City’s standpoint, we have been methodical about removing lead from the water system for decades. We want people to understand that we are in a good place as a community; however, it is very important to take this inventory seriously so we can identify any remaining lead service lines.”
While the inventory’s primary goal is to identify lead service lines, it is also a means for the Water Purification team to improve and verify the data it has on all service line materials throughout the community, whether it is made of galvanized, copper, PVC, or other types. Accurate data supports the City’s mission to provide safe and reliable water service to customers.
“Documenting your pipe helps your family, neighborhood, and water provider,” said Lewis. “It’s a simple process that only takes a few minutes, but it can have a huge impact on community health and safety.”
If a property owner identifies a service line made of lead through this process, DANR will share that information back to the City’s Water Purification team. If the property owner has any further questions or concerns, they should call the City’s Water Purification team at 605-373-6950 for guidance. The first step will be to test the drinking water at the property, and the Water Purification team will work with property owners to determine next steps. Removal and replacement of lead service lines on private property are the responsibility of the property owner.
For additional information and a step-by-step guide for completing the survey, visit www.sdwaterpipes.com.
How-to Video: SDLSL_Video_HighQuality on Vimeo