News & Announcements

February 9th, 2024

​MUB conducting water service line inventory

In response to rules enacted by the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”), Morgantown Utility Board is conducting an inventory of customer water service lines leading to homes and businesses. The purpose is to identify the material that comprises the service line from the customer’s property line to the customer’s premises.

According to MUB Director of Communications Chris Dale, it was previously the practice of utilities to maintain information only up to the meter/customer property line.

“Prior to this rule we didn’t maintain information on private property. The EPA is now requiring us to inventory water service lines leading to a customer’s home or business,” he said.

To assist customers with identifying and reporting on water service lines, MUB has created the website mub.org/inventory. The site details a simple three-step process for locating the line, identifying the material, and reporting the results.

While MUB wants to know the material of all water service lines, a primary driver of the EPA’s rule involves identifying water service lines containing lead or galvanized steel that was downstream of lead lines. Lead was used for lines prior to being banned in 1986.

Dale adds that if a lead water service line is discovered, MUB has practiced lead mitigation for decades.

“Although extremely rare, any time we discover a lead line while digging or reviewing a customer record, we replace it without delay. If we find one on the customer side, we notify that customer immediately. Additionally, we use an anti-corrosion chemical that prevents lead and other metals in the pipes from leaching into the water. What this corrosion inhibitor does is coat the inside of pipes and fixtures with a thin, protective layer that reduces leaching and flaking,” Dale said.

MUB will implement the water service line inventory through various public processes. For example, when a customer’s bill is due, a flyer and survey will be included with the customer’s bill. The flyer contains information on the program, describes how to complete the service line identification process, and includes the survey itself. Information will also be placed on MUB’s online payment portal and additional information may be mailed to customers.

“Although anyone is welcome to visit the website and report their results at their convenience, we determined that breaking the process down according to billing cycle makes it more manageable,” said Dale. “This does not mean that a customer can’t report when ready. If someone wants to move forward with the process, we encourage them to do so.”

If a customer’s water service line is determined to be lead, it is the customer’s responsibility to replace the water service line, should they choose to do so. Currently, there is not a mandate requiring water service line replacement or funding to help in doing so. However, MUB is exploring potential ways to assist customers with replacing water service lines if discovered.

“We’re focused on the immediate task of identifying customer water service line material. If funding is made available to replace water service lines, we will certainly work with qualifying homeowners,” Dale said. “Right now, we’re attempting to learn what’s out there on the customer side.”