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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: April 12, 2017 09:19 AM
From: Senator Wayne D. Fontana
To: All Senate members
Subject: Private Water Lines
I plan to introduce a bill that would address one aspect of the ongoing lead infrastructure crisis the commonwealth is facing. Specifically, lead that is contaminating a home or a business’s water through the private pipe lines. This is a growing problem for thousands of residents of the City of Pittsburgh.

Under every residence and business, there are private water service lines that connect to the public water systems. Many home owners are unaware that they own and are responsible for the water lines that are on their property. More recently, local municipalities have come across problems with privately owned water lines that contain lead and need repaired or replaced. While the water quality consistently meets federal water standards through the public water pipes, it has been found that sometimes the private residential lines contain lead which then contaminate the clean water supply coming in from public lines as it goes into homes and businesses.

Repairing the private lines are often essential for human health and safety; however, they come at a steep cost with many home owners unable or unwilling to pay. My legislation would allow municipalities and municipal authorities to make public funds available to repair or replace contaminated private water lines when they pose a threat to the public health or safety. It is important to highlight that this legislation does not force any municipality to participate and would only be an enabling bill. It would be up to each and every local water authority to decide if they want to designate public funding for such a cause and determine the guidelines for eligibility for such a program.

I truly believe this is a significant problem and that it is imperative that all of us responsible for the health, welfare and safety of our citizens work together to capitalize on every possible approach with regards to prevention and control of any potential exposure.

I hope you will consider joining me by co sponsoring this legislation.

Introduced as SB656