Alexandria water system to undergo lead inventory
May 19—ALEXANDRIA — Alexandria's water is safe to drink. However, federal regulations are now requiring the city to take inventory of its lead service lines.
Jill Curry of Curry and Associates, an engineering firm based in Danville, petitioned the Alexandria Board of Works to sign a certification form stating that Curry and Associates would complete the full scope of work.
Mayor Todd Naselroad signed the form with the approval of the board.
The agreement will accompany Alexandria's application for a grant from the Indiana Finance Authority. The grant would be for up to $15,000 and would cover the total estimated cost of the inventory.
Curry said funds are distributed by the federal government and granted through the IFA.
Should the city receive a grant, it would be paid directly to Curry and Associates, not the city, according to Curry.
"Why is (the grant) not going to the city to which then the city would pay you? Why does it pass through directly to you?" City Attorney Evan McMullen asked during Monday's board of works meeting.
"That's the way the IFA established the program," Curry replied.
Curry later explained the IFA requires the city to utilize outside firms.
Data collection is the goal of the inventory, according to Curry. Curry and Associates will gather data from the Alexandria Water Department and interview present and former department employees.
Those interviews will focus on the lines' service histories.
Water service customers will have their own part to play in the inventory.
Surveys will be sent to customers regarding their service lines. Residents' service lines extend from the meter to their building, Curry said.
Surveys should be sent out sometime in June. All of the data will be compiled for the inventory.
Once the inventory is put together, plans will be made to replace lead service lines. Curry estimated the planning period could begin sometime in 2024.
Replacement could take years to complete. Cities like Indianapolis have multi-year plans in place for replacing lead service lines.
Service provider Citizen Energy Group has initiated a 30-year-plan for replacing lead service lines, according to Curry.
Both the inventory and potential replacement projects are to be completed before Oct. 16, 2024, to be in compliance with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's newly updated lead and copper rule.
Curry explained that such rules have always been in place, but revisions have narrowed the focus to lead service lines.
Per the update, replacement programs must be initiated by the October deadline.
The purpose is to remove lead, a hazardous substance, from the national water supply.
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