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Maryland Department of the Environment

Department of the Environment Approves $80 Million for Lead Service Line Inventories and Replacements to Improve Water Systems

Baltimore City, WSSC and Baltimore County Receive Largest Allocations

BALTIMORE (Sept. 22, 2023) – The Maryland Department of the Environment today announced $80 million in funding to local water systems as part of an initiative to improve drinking water by replacing service lines that contain lead.

”Lead is still a threat in our most vulnerable and disadvantaged communities. This funding will contribute to healthier outcomes,” said Secretary Serena McIlwain. “We are modernizing drinking water systems across the state, and the Maryland Department of the Environment will provide financial support and technical assistance to local water systems to make sure they are successful.”

Following a public comment period, the Department of the Environment’s funding proposal was submitted to and approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Systems are required to take the first step in this process, which is to compile inventories and maps of water lines that contain lead. Funding is then used for the replacement of lead service lines.

The breakdown of funding is as follows:

  • Baltimore City: $21.3 million for lead line inventory work and $22.3 million for lead service line replacements
  • Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission: $21.1 million for lead service line replacements and $1 million for inventory
  • Baltimore County: $6.5 million for inventory targeted at disadvantaged communities
  • Town of Berlin: $1.1 million for lead service line replacement and $172,040 for inventory
  • Town of Queenstown: $431,636 for inventory
  • Town of Westernport: $388,800 for inventory
  • Town of Lonaconing: $388,800 for inventory
  • Town of Delmar: $362,984 for inventory
  • City of Aberdeen: $150,000 for inventory
  • Town of Brunswick: $60,000 for inventory

An additional $5.2 million will be used to fund regulatory and program activities for lead compliance and oversight, and for technical assistance to small water systems for lead service line-related activities.

The department has been developing resources for water systems to conduct their inventory process, including guidance documents, direct assistance from department engineers, contracting with third-party technical assistance providers to offer hands-on outreach to small water systems, and technical webinars for water system managers and staff. 

Identifying and replacing lead service lines provides an additional level of prevention to the protections that are provided under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act Lead and Copper Rule. Under that rule, water systems in Maryland are required to conduct regular monitoring for lead.

Water systems that exceed the Lead Action Level based on the samples collected must conduct additional water quality monitoring to determine the cause or source of the lead, perform system-wide public education activities, develop a corrective action plan, and conduct follow up lead and copper testing to ensure that the corrective actions were effective in reducing the levels of lead and/or copper at the tap. 

Important steps you can take to reduce lead in drinking water are available at: