Lead Water Service Information

Based on the age of homes in South St. Paul, there is estimated to be approximately 800 homes with lead services.  Lead most frequently gets into drinking water by leaching from plumbing materials and fixtures as water moves through the distribution system.  The City has comprehensive water testing to monitor lead levels at spot locations throughout the City as well as within school properties.  The water monitoring results have consistently shown that the City is not above the thresholds set by the MN Department of Health (MDH) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

However, staff anticipates that the Mn Department of Health and the EPA will eventually require all communities to chlorinate City water supplies and these agencies are continually lowering acceptable levels of contaminant thresholds within the distribution system. Staff is concerned that in the future the City may face issues of changing water chemistry, which may increase lead solubility and corrosion within the aging water distribution system.  While there are ways to mitigate this during the chlorination process, the most cost effective and responsible approach would be to encourage property owners to replace lead service lines on their own.  

At this time, there are no requirements from the MDH or EPA to require private property owners to remove lead service lines.  The City has developed a policy to help owners with lead service line replacement. Based on requests from property owners for lead service line replacement assistance, the City Engineer will execute an assessment agreement with the property owner for up to $5,000 for lead service line replacements at an interest rate of 1 percent plus the current bond rate with the following repayment schedules:

•Less than or equal to $2,500 is payable over 3 years.
•Greater than $2,500 up to $5,000 is payable over 5 years.

Based on Sec. 50-21 of the City’s Code of Ordinances, property owners are allowed to request a deferred assessment if they meet certain age or hardship requirements.  If the City Council approves deferment of payment of special assessments, the City Engineer will execute a deferred assessment agreement with the property for up to $5,000 for lead service line replacements at an interest rate of 1 percent plus the current bond rate.

If the total requests for lead service line replacements exceed the total overall budgeted amount for the program, the City Engineer will not authorize any additional lead service line replacements without City Council authorization.



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"One Water" Mini-Grants available!

The City, in collaboration with the Metropolitan Council  and the Dakota County Soil & Water Conservation District, have a "Mini- Grant" available to South St. Paul residents for 50% of the cost to replace your lead water service line up to a maximum grant award of $3,000.

South St. Paul Residents may apply for the lead water service line grant by filling out and submitting the application below.  Priority will be given to low income families, but it is not a requirement.  You will be notified if you are eligible for the grant.  Certain requirements must be met in order to receive grant funds.

Work is to be completed after receiving grant approval and before October 30th, 2019.  Once the work is completed, you will be required to submit copies of your invoices and photos or inspection reports for verification and payment of the mini-grant, which will be made available after acceptance into the program.