Sioux Falls Takes Proactive Approach to Drinking Water Safety and Quality
Although Sioux Falls drinking water has never tested above allowable levels of lead, the City of Sioux Falls made a proactive, concerted effort to remove all lead water service lines by the end of this summer. Today, the final lead water service line was taken out of service and replaced with a copper water service line.
“The Water Maintenance team really stepped up to the challenge and created an efficient process for lead water service line renewal. They have taken a lot of pride in performing this task by completing this program. They work every day to ensure our drinking water is safe for generations to come,” says Trent Lubbers, Utility Operations Administrator.
The Public Works Water Division removed 230 lead service lines in 2016 and 2017. This equates to nearly a mile of lead service lines that have been replaced with copper. The lead services were replaced from the water main to the curb stop (typically near the property line). If lead pipes were in place from the curb stop to the house, homeowners were required to replace that portion of the lead service line. Only four of the 230 lead services were lead between the curb stop and the house.
Traditionally, water lines are replaced during street reconstruction projects. To accelerate this effort to remove all lead water service lines in Sioux Falls, City crews replaced services by pulling a cable to remove the lead service and pull in a new copper service. This innovative method allowed for specific targeting of lead service lines for replacement.
The Public Works Water Division has a long track record of providing the highest quality, safe drinking water. An average of 20.8 million gallons of water per day is provided to homes, schools, hospitals, and businesses in Sioux Falls. Sioux Falls water consistently meets and exceeds all state and federal drinking water standards, and the Public Works Water Division tests for both regulated and unregulated substances to ensure the water coming out of the tap each day is of the highest quality. For example, 50 water samples are taken from private homes and businesses, the Water Treatment Plant, remote water reservoirs, and water towers to be tested for lead every three years. Please visit www.siouxfalls.org/water for further Sioux Falls drinking water quality information.