Lead Service Line (LSL) Inventory Technical Assistance Program

The federal government is providing more than $100 million to replace lead service lines in Montana. People can be exposed to lead in drinking water through lead pipes. There is no safe level of lead in drinking water and the amount of lead service lines in Montana is not fully known. The inventory of lead service lines must be completed by October 16, 2024. The Community Technical Assistance Program (CTAP), housed within the Department of Commerce’s Community MT Division, is charged with providing technical assistance to complete lead services line inventories.


Request Help Inventorying Lead Service Lines
(Public Water Systems Only) 
An OKTA login is required to access the LSL TA application. Instructions to create an OKTA login is available here. 
OKTA Login Video Tutorial

Commerce Contacts (for Technical Assistance)

Susan Brurud
Infrastructure Planning Coordinator
406.945.2969
susan.brurud@mt.gov

Lynda O'Donnell
Lead Service Line Program Specialist
406.841.2545
Lynda.Odonnell@mt.gov

DEQ Contacts (for Montana Public Water Systems)

Greg Montgomery
DEQ Public Water Supply
406.444.5312
gregory.montgomery@mt.gov

Tribal Contacts (for Non-DEQ Regulated Systems)

Montana and Wyoming Tribal Lands, EPA Region 8

DEQ Reporting Template and Guidance

EPA Reporting Template and Guidance (Tribal)

Tribal systems that have a PWS ID starting with "MT" will use the DEQ Template and send their inventory to DEQ. All other tribal systems will be required to use the EPA Template and submit it to the Region 8 EPA LSL contact.

Toolkit Resources

Social Media Images and Templates

Communities are encouraged to post these assets on their own social media sites with messaging that is specific to their area, including public meetings, updates on when workers may be in their area conducting inventory work, or any other LSL related event. For questions about how to use the community toolkit templates or the digital assets in your community feel free to contact our team.

[Download Social Media Template - MS Word]

(Images may be downloaded by clicking on the text hyperlinks, right-clicking on the image, selecting "Save Image As" and saving it to your computer for later use.) 

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Door Hangers

Lead is a toxic metal that can be harmful to human health even at low exposure levels. Lead is persistent, and it can bioaccumulate in the body over time.

Children

Young children, infants, and fetuses are particularly vulnerable to lead because the physical and behavioral effects of lead occur at lower exposure levels in children than in adults. A dose of lead that would have little effect on an adult can have a significant effect on a child. In children, low levels of exposure have been linked to damage to the central and peripheral nervous system, learning disabilities, shorter stature, impaired hearing, and impaired formation and function of blood cells.

It is important to recognize all the ways a child can be exposed to lead. Children are exposed to lead in paint, dust, soil, air, and food, as well as drinking water. If the level of lead in a child's blood is at or above the CDC action level of 5 micrograms per deciliter, it may be due to lead exposures from a combination of sources. EPA estimates that drinking water can make up 20 percent or more of a person’s total exposure to lead. Infants who consume mostly mixed formula can receive 40 percent to 60 percent of their exposure to lead from drinking water.

Pregnant Women

Lead can accumulate in our bodies over time, where it is stored in bones along with calcium. During pregnancy, lead is released from bones as maternal calcium and is used to help form the bones of the fetus. This is particularly true if a woman does not have enough dietary calcium. Lead can also cross the placental barrier exposing the fetus to lead. This can result in serious effects to the mother and her developing fetus, including:

  • Reduced growth of the fetus
  • Premature birth

Find out more about lead's effects on pregnancy:

Lead can also be transmitted through breast milk. Read more on lead exposure in pregnancy and lactating women (PDF) (302 pp, 4.3 MB, About PDF).

Adults

Lead is also harmful to adults. Adults exposed to lead can suffer from:

  • Cardiovascular effects, increased blood pressure and incidence of hypertension
  • Decreased kidney function
  • Reproductive problems (in both men and women)

Related Information

Can I shower in lead-contaminated water?

Yes. Bathing and showering should be safe for you and your children, even if the water contains lead over EPA’s action level. Human skin does not absorb lead in water.

This information applies to most situations and to a large majority of the population, but individual circumstances may vary. Some situations, such as cases involving highly corrosive water, may require additional recommendations or more stringent actions. Your local water authority is a valuable resource for testing and identifying lead contamination in your tap water. Many public water authorities have websites that include data on drinking water quality, including results of lead testing. Links to such data can be found on the EPA Consumer Confidence Report website.

  • 10/26/2023- Lead Service Line Technical Assistance (LSL TA) Monthly Community Training
         

Lead Service Line (LSL) Additional Information

The Federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2022 (IIJA), also known as the Bi-Partisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), provides historic funding to eliminate lead in drinking water system service lines in towns, cities and water districts throughout Montana. CTAP is creating a pool of technical service providers with experience and expertise in municipal water systems to assist local governments and water districts in inventorying water systems service lines for the presence of lead in preparation for replacement or mitigation of lead service lines with funding from the IIJA.

Technical assistance will help water systems serving fewer than 10,000 users apply for additional funding for completing inventory activities and replacement or mitigation of lead service lines. Services provided will include the development of lead service line inventories and lead service line replacement plans. Interested in applying to be a program service provider? Visit E-MACS.

Examples of Eligible LSL Replacement Projects that Can Be Funded After Completing an Inventory

  • Complete removal of lead service lines (public and privately owned portion) or service lines made of galvanized iron or galvanized steel (that are currently or have previously been downstream of lead components) and replacement with a pipe that meets the requirements established under 40 CFR 143 and which complies with state and local plumbing codes and or building codes.
  • Removal of lead or galvanized goosenecks, pigtails, and connectors and replacement with an acceptable material that meets the requirements established under 40 CFR 143 and which complies with state and local plumbing codes and or building codes.
  • Replacement of curb stops, curb stop boxes and other service line items that are removed as part of full LSLR.
  • Restoration of a site where the removal of landscaping, sidewalks, driveways, etc. was necessary to replace the lead service line.
  • Permit fees if the fees are normal, required and specific to the LSLR. It is recommended that communities waive these fees.
  • Temporary pitcher filters or point-of-use (POU) devices certified to reduce lead during or for a short time after LSLR projects.

Contact Us


Get started with the surveys

The Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) requests community and non-community non-transient water systems to complete the SRF LSL Project Priority Survey Form.

If you think you may need funding assistance, it will be available via loans and loan forgiveness. If interested, please print the PDF from DEQ called "DRINKING WATER STATE REVOLVING FUND PROJECT PRIORITY LIST SURVEY," complete it and submit it to leadandcopper@mt.gov. This a voluntary request. Water systems are not required to complete the form if they do not have a need for funding currently.

Open the DEQ LSL Survey

The submitted survey forms will be used to create a project priority list in order to request funding from EPA. The projects don’t have to be “shovel ready” or approved. The project scopes and costs can be conservative estimates and do not lock water system into a particular scope or timeframe.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact Greg Montgomery with DEQ Public Water Supply at 406.444.5312 and gregory.montgomery@mt.gov.