Lead Free SPRWS logo

Saint Paul Regional Water Services is developing a 10 year plan to replace all lead water service lines in our service area at no cost to property owners.

The program will begin in full in 2023. During 2022 a small pilot of this program will be offered to those with lead service lines in water main construction project areas.

We are still developing the full 10 year plan, but we can provide some answers to commonly asked questions about lead and this program.

Program Info

Answers to frequently asked questions about the Lead Free SPRWS program.

Last updated: April 7, 2022

How many SPRWS customers have lead?

SPRWS has approximately 96,000 accounts. Of those accounts (properties), about 28% or 26,000 properties have a lead service line.

When will my lead service line be replaced?

The SPRWS service area will be divided into project zones, each with a similar number of lead service lines. We are actively working to plan out the next ten years which includes obtaining funding and then selecting an appropriate number of project areas to complete each year based on available funding. Project areas will be prioritized based on several factors yet to be determined. We will share this information on our website as soon as it is available, and customers will be contacted directly when we are coming to their area.

What is happening in 2022 with lead?

SPRWS will be offering to replace lead service lines in a few select pilot areas in 2022. The areas eligible for this pilot program are in pre-planned construction areas prior to the request and development of the 10 year plan. Customers in these areas will be contacted directly and will have the opportunity to receive a lead service line replacement at no cost to them. To find out if your property is part of a 2022 project, please check out the SPRWS water construction projects map.

How will this work be conducted?

This program is being designed with the intention of having about half of the work performed by SPRWS crews and half under city contracts. Initial estimates for project needs show the potential of about 20 new full-time employees (program administration and actual lead replacement work) to join team SPRWS. We are actively working with Ramsey County to explore job program opportunities to incorporate into this plan. More information and job postings will be shared when they are available

What if I don't want to wait? Am I able to replace my lead service line now?

Yes, customers can replace the portion of the lead service line that they own at any point. However, at this time, SPRWS funding and crews will only be available for projects within the determined project areas. Customers may work with outside contractors to complete their private side work at their own expense. SPRWS does not currently have funding available to help offset the cost of these private side replacements outside of project areas but we are exploring options for providing partial funding assistance that may be available in the future. We understand that customers want their lead removed but in order to most effectively use the funds available for this work, we need to complete the work in coordinated projects. If a customer decides to replace the private side of a lead service line and the public side is also lead, SPRWS will ensure the public lead is also replaced at no cost to the customer.

I had my lead service line replaced in the past. Am I eligible for reimbursement now?

Unfortunately, funding is only available for upcoming project areas and we are not able to retroactively reimburse property owners for previous work. The grant funding is only available for work that is completed after March 2022.

Lead Free SPRWS program FAQs (PDF)

2022 Eligibility

During 2022 a small pilot of the Lead Free SPRWS program will be offered to those with lead service lines in water main construction project areas. If you are eligible in 2022 we have already sent you a letter and will follow up with other forms of outreach.

Those who are eligible in 2022 and are interested in having their lead service line replaced for free are asked to complete an Intent Form found on engagestpaul.org/lead with up-to-date contact information as a first step.

Lead Service Line Info

Answers to frequently asked questions about lead services.

What is a water service line and who owns it?

Water service lines are the pipes that carry water from the water mains in the street into homes/buildings. SPRWS owns the portion of the water service lines from the main in the street to the property line (public side). Individual property owners own the portion from the property line to the meter inside the home (private side).

Diagram showing the portion of a water service considered private versus the portion owned by SPRWS

 How do I find out if I have a lead service?

Confirm whether you have a lead service line by looking up your address on our service material map or by calling us at 651-266-6820.

What does it mean if my service material says "unknown"?

Our records for your address do not show material type for the private side of your water service line. As part of this project, we will work to resolve all “unknowns” and ensure those with lead can take part. To have one of our meter technicians determine your service line material call our Meter Operations team at 651-266-6850 and schedule an appointment.

What should I do if I have a lead service line?

SPRWS is committed to providing customers with safe, great tasting drinking water. Water leaves the treatment facility free of lead and travels through water mains that are not made of lead. Although the water is treated to minimize corrosion, it may occur when the water gets to an individual lead service line. Lead can potentially get into drinking water from the service line between the street and your home and from the plumbing inside your home. SPRWS regularly tests drinking water lead levels in accordance with all federal and state drinking water standards. There are additional measures you can take to minimize the effects of lead if you have a lead service line. These include the following:

  • Don't drink or cook with water that has collected in plumbing for more than six hours
  • Clear water lines by running cold water for 3-5 minutes
  • Run the water before you drink from any faucet in the house
  • Use cold water for cooking, drinking, making baby formula
  • Clean faucet aerators at least once per month
  • Treat your water using a pitcher or filtration system that is NSF certified for lead

Last Edited: June 28, 2022