PWSA may reimburse up to 100 percent of the costs of a private lead service line replacement
As part of Community Lead Response, PWSA will assist customers with the cost of private lead service line replacement if customers choose to proactively hire a plumber and complete the work. PWSA will verify your income and determine the level of reimbursement you qualify for. This program is available to anyone who has replaced their private lead service line since January 2019.
Process for private lead service line reimbursement:
- Contact the PGH2O Cares Team at 412-255-2457 – PGH2O Cares will confirm your income to determine your reimbursement amount. If you do not wish to complete an income verification or know you will not qualify for reimbursement, you can still receive a $1,000 stipend.
- Hire a plumber – you can choose from PWSA’s list of participating plumbers, who have agreed to PWSA’s program guidelines, making the process easier for you.
- Complete and submit estimate – meet with your plumber so the plumber can complete an estimate form to submit to our PWSA Lead Help staff. PWSA will review the estimate and approve the eligible costs.
- Replace the lead service line – your plumber will complete the work and the PWSA Lead Help staff will provide you with flushing instructions, a pitcher filter, and a test kit for your water after construction.
- Complete and submit invoice – your plumber will submit the final invoice to PWSA. If the cost matches with the estimate, PWSA will send a co-written check to you and your plumber for the reimbursement amount.
Who owns your water service line?
As shown in the diagram, in a typical situation, the section of your water line that runs between the water main and the curb box is owned and maintained by the PWSA. The section between the curb box and the water meter belongs to you. In some instances, this example diagram may not be indicative of ownership. The PWSA will confirm your ownership responsibilities.
Our Reimbursement Program will reimburse the costs of a privately-owned lead service line replacement. If your private plumber discovers a publicly-owned lead service line attached to the private line, they will coordinate with us to replace the public line at the same time.
General Policy Guidelines
Properties that go through the process must meet these general guidelines to be eligible for reimbursement:
- Residential properties within PWSA water service area, with no more than four (4) units and a private service line of 1-inch or less
- Replacement of a private service line identified as lead or galvanized iron
- Reimbursement determined by income of the Property Owner or Tenant
- Replacement follows submission of plumber’s estimate, completed by you and your plumber prior to construction. You may not be reimbursed for work that is completed without an approved estimate.
- PWSA reserves the right to void authorizations if eligibility conditions for reimbursement have changed before an estimate is received for review. This includes the addition of the location to a planned PWSA project area.
Hiring a Private Plumber
After you hire a private plumber and confirm the material of your private service line, we will review the estimate and confirm the reimbursement amount. Once the work is complete, you will be issued a check, made out to you and your private plumber, for the reimbursement amount. If there are any remaining costs, you will be responsible to pay them.
Plumbers interested in being added to our participating plumbers list will agree to the following conditions:
- Visit the site to prepare an accurate estimate, providing photographs to confirm lead on the private portion of the service line.
- The plumber shall provide the cost estimate on the provided form, including required photographs and explanation of any additional costs or site conditions to the homeowner.
- The plumber shall notify PWSA two weeks prior to the verification to coordinate potential public lead service line replacement by PWSA.
- The plumber shall dig a verification test pit at the curb box to confirm the material of both portions of the service line.
- Reimbursement will be issued by check upon receipt and approval of reimbursement form, plumber invoice, and final Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) inspection from the homeowner. Plumbers should also provide the final ACHD inspection and itemized invoice to the homeowner.
- The plumber will accept a reimbursement check that will be made payable as indicated on the approved estimate form. If on the approved list, the plumber may not accept payment from the customer related to the eligible costs to be paid by PWSA.
- Plumbers may not charge a down payment that exceeds the customers portion of the payment.