The Pleasant Ridge water department has completed our annual water quality testing and reported our results to the State. We are happy to report that we meet the State’s water quality levels for lead and copper. The action level for lead is 15 parts per billion (ppb). Our 90th percentile lead level is 6.7 ppb, so we meet State and Federal water quality standards for lead.
This year the State began requiring communities to sample more locations. In Pleasant Ridge, we increased our number of water samples from 5 to 10. The State also changed the water sampling process to use a more stringent methodology. You will hear about many other communities exceeding the allowed lead levels in water, and that is due to the change to these larger sampling pools and more stringent testing methods. Nothing has changed with respect to the water that is being delivered by GLWA to Pleasant Ridge and other nearby communities.
Residents should also be aware that the State is also requiring that public water suppliers remove at public expense all lead service lines, including the privately owned portion of the service line on private property that runs from the water stop box to the water meter. We have 20 years to complete this work. In Pleasant Ridge, we have about 700 lead service lines out of about 1,150 total customers, so this will be a very significant expense, estimated at $6 to $10 million total. That’s about $300,000 to $500,000 annually over 20 years.
Our annual water fund budget is only about $1.3 million, so the cost to replace lead service lines will require water rates to rise in future years. We cannot accomplish this required lead service line replacement task without raising additional revenue from water system customers. We are still planning how we will accomplish this very large and expensive task, and will have more information for you about this in the coming months and years.