In February 2000, Madison’s lead water service line replacement ordinance (MGO Section 13.18) went into effect. The ordinance required that all lead water service lines in the city be replaced by December 2010; however, the deadline was extended to December 2011 to accomodate major street construction on Williamson Street, an area where many of the remaining lead services are located. The requirement applies to both the Utility-owned service line extending from the water main in the street
to the curb stop box, as well as the customer-owned service line extending from the curb box to the customer's water meter. Water Utility crews, in coordination with customers and their plumbers, are systematically replacing Utility-owned water service lines made of lead that remain part of the water system. When the Utility replaces its lead service line from the water main to the curb box, property owners are required to replace the lead service line on their private property. Property owners are notified by mail when lead service replacement is scheduled for their area.
Where the property-side part of the water service is lead and the Utility's side is copper, property owners are required to replace the lead service line. Property owners are notified by mail when they must arrange with a licensed plumber to have the work done. The Utility will work with customers who know they have a lead service line to get the work done in advance of the notification.
Madison must minimize the lead level in tap water in order to meet mandated federal water quality standards. Lead concentrations at customers' taps must be reduced to below 5 parts per billion to meet the federal standard. The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, and the City of Madison require implementation of Madison's Lead Service Replacement Program as a means of attaining the federal water quality standard for lead in drinking water.