Lead Service Line Replacement: Community Organizing in Action!
Across the country, over 9 million homes still get their water through a lead pipe, called a lead service line (LSL). Fully replacing LSLs poses a myriad of challenges – cost chief amongst them – but replacement is critical to protecting the public from the harms posed by lead exposure. It is also a necessary step to upgrading the country’s aging water infrastructure.
To assist water systems, elected officials, health professionals, and other key stakeholders with navigating these challenges to accelerating LSL replacement, the Lead Service Line Replacement Collaborative developed an online toolkit several years ago. Clean Water Action is a founding member of the Collaborative, which now has 27 members representing public health, water utility, environmental, labor, consumer, housing, and state and local governmental organizations.
Now, the Collaborative is featuring case examples and interviews with states, water utilities, and advocates advancing LSL replacement with innovative strategies. The Collaborative highlighted Clean Water Action and Clean Water Fund's on-the-ground work in Chelsea, Massachussets in its new Case Study: Roles for Community Groups in LSL Replacement efforts.
“We had a dedicated Department of Public Works and a community used to advocating for itself. With the funding, we had everything we needed. I see our role as creating momentum. We helped the city see this was doable.” Clean Water Action's Maureo Fernández y Mora describes how Clean Water Action and Clean Water Fund served as both an ally to the water utility in Chelsea, Massachusetts and a bridge to the community to accelerate LSL replacement. Read the Case Study here and email the Collaborative if you have ideas for additional case examples to highlight.
For more information on Clean Water Action's work to ensure lead free drinking water, visit our Lead and Drinking Water campaign page here.