After receiving approval from the Public Service Commission, Sun Prairie Utilities (SPU) will begin its lead line replacement program, according to SPU Utility Manager Rick Wicklund.

In conjunction with the City of Sun Prairie Ordinance created on Aug. 21, 2018 requiring homeowners to replace lead customer-side water services, SPU has developed and received Public Service Commission approval for the Lead Service Line Replacement Program that provides financial assistance for replacements.

Having currently confirmed 98 lead services, SPU estimates that 225 customer-side services of the pre-1940 vintage are constructed of lead material.

Wicklund said as part of its advanced metering implementation, SPU is continuously identifying customer-side lateral service materials. In comparison to the almost 60 Wisconsin Municipal Utilities with over 4,000 meters (Class AB), Sun Prairie has a very low exposure to lead services (many municipals have thousands, with Milwaukee leading the state with around 150,000 as reported in 2019).

The financial assistance program is intended to assist homeowners with the entire process involved with replacement, including everything from identification to assistance with getting contractor quotes to potentially receiving 100% financial assistance.

SPU will be sending notices shortly to those homeowners where lead has been identified, starting a process whereby the homeowner has three years to receive financial assistance for the required replacement.

Wicklund said SPU is maintaining a database of approved contractors who will perform replacements. From this database, the customer is required to acquire two quotes to do the replacement work.

SPU will then enter into a three-party replacement agreement between the homeowner, plumbing contractor, and SPU.

Wicklund said financial assistance is available in the form of a combination of grants and loans. The homeowner is eligible to receive a grant for 50% of the lowest quoted cost (up to a maximum of $2,000), with the remainder eligible for a 0% interest, five-year loan, both administered by SPU.

Although dependent on a variety of conditions, an average lead service replacement is estimated to cost around $4,000.

For further details about the program, Wicklund invites homeowners to visit the Sun Prairie Utilities website and look under Customer Services menu, then Water Department and Lead Service Lateral Replacement Program.

Homeowners with lead water service should be looking for an upcoming letter from SPU which will inform them of their lead service and a webinar schedule intended to educate them on the replacement program process.

In addition, homeowners should feel free to reach out to SPU with questions or concerns by calling 608-837-5500 or emailing information@myspu.org.

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