Lead Service Line Replacement Program Information



The purpose of this document is to inform property owners of the potential existence of a lead service line (LSL) at your property and a city program available to help you replace it. Lead water service lines and home plumbing are potential sources of lead in drinking water. Lead is harmful to human health, particularly the health of small children. For this reason, the City of Ripon (City) uses corrosion control treatment to minimize the potential for lead in the City’s drinking water.


The city may replace or perform maintenance on the water main and the city-owned portion of the water service line to your home. The city owns and is responsible for maintaining the water service line up to the curb stop (the first valve) off the water main. For a vast majority of residential properties, the curb stop is typically located in the terrace or in the sidewalk adjacent to the street. The water service line from inside your building out to the curb stop is owned and maintained by the property owner. 


Based on available information, the city believes your water service line may be constructed of lead. To determine if your water service line is lead, you may contact a certified plumber (at your expense), the Ripon Water Utility at (920)748-4900 (free of charge; preferred) or perform a self- inspection.


To perform the self-inspection, simply take a metal tool, like a coin, and scratch the surface of the pipe protruding from the floor or wall prior to the water meter. If the pipe is easy to scratch and the scratched area is a shiny grey color, the pipe is made of lead. The picture provides basic guidance for performing a self-inspection. 


The Ripon Water Utility anticipates that there will be approximately 80 lead service lines that will need replacing over the coming years. As a result, the Common Council approved an ordinance related to the replacement of lead service lines. See attached Section 17.06.070 – Lead service line replacement of the Ripon Municipal Code. The ordinance does also establish basic guidelines for financial assistance programs for lead service line replacements, including:


• Customers may apply for financial assistance for lead service line replacement through any available grant source, including those funds provided through the State of Wisconsin’s Safe Drinking Water Loan Program (additional sources of funding outside of the SDWLP will follow the established LSL program guidance).

• The city may provide financial assistance for customer-side lead service line replacements in the form of grants, loans, or other funding sources. Funds shall be paid directly to the plumbing contractor on behalf of the property owner. The total amount of the funds provided shall not exceed the actual cost of replacement of the customer-side lead service line.


Program Information


The following summarizes the City’s Lead Service Line Replacement (LSLR) Program, including financial assistance and program guidance.



1. The goal of the program is to eliminate health hazards associated with private LSL at the above-referenced properties. For the purposes of the LSLR and SDWLP program, private lead service line replacement means, “the replacement of the existing lead service line between the curb stop and the water meter within the structure.”


2. Through the City of Ripon, the SDWLP and Private LSLR Program will provide for reimbursement of eligible costs for a property owner to replace a private LSL. Up to $5,000 of eligible costs will be reimbursed. Eligible costs might include the cost of excavation, materials, labor, backfill, and restoration. No-dig methods of pipe installation may also be considered as a typical cost. Non-typical costs at a property may be allowed pending review and approval by the City of Ripon, and the SDWLP private Lead Service Line Program. A non- typical cost might include the cost of rerouting the private portion of the lead service line to a more acceptable location within a structure when it results in an overall cost saving.


3. The city has published a Request for Qualifications for plumbers/utility contractors interested in becoming prequalified to perform private-side LSLR work (attached). The list of prequalified plumbers/utility contractors is available on the Ripon Water Utility page of the City’s website and can be requested at (920)748-4900. The financial assistance through the grant will only beavailable to the residents that utilize the plumbers/utility contractors on the prequalified list of plumbers/utility contractors.


4.Funding for private-side LSLR is being provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Therefore, in some cases, the federal Davis-Bacon wage rate requirements will apply to the plumbing/utility contracting firm performing this work. The City of Ripon will assist in determining property ownership and whether the Davis-Bacon wage rate requirements apply.


a. The federal Davis-Bacon wage rate requirements will apply in the following circumstance:


i. The property is owned by a business entity (trust, LLC, etc.); will be using a plumbing/utility contracting firm that has employees (who are not owners of this firm); and an owner of that plumbing/utility contracting firm did not perform one hundred percent (100%) of the work.


b. Davis-Bacon wage rate requirements will not apply in the following circumstances:



i. The property is owned by an individual or individuals.


ii. The property is owned by a business entity (trust, LLC, etc.) and an owner of the plumber or utility contractor completing the work completes one hundred percent (100%) of the work.


iii. The total cost of the LSL replacement is less than $2,000.


5.Property owners must complete an Application for Lead Service Line Replacement. The Ripon Water Utility will determine eligibility and complete the necessary inspections to confirm the LSLR.


6.If eligibility is confirmed, the property owner is required to obtain a minimum of two quotes from the Ripon Water Utility’s prequalified list of plumbing contractors and shall utilize the lowest cost proposal unless otherwise authorized by the city.


7.Property owner will sign an agreement (Lead Service Pipe Replacement Agreement) with thecity and the plumber/utility contractor to perform the private-side LSLR work. No work shall be completed prior to the execution of the agreement. Agreement shall be based off the amount proposed in the quote by the contractor. Property owner is required to obtain any necessary permits prior to work commencing.


8.Upon completion of the Project and site restoration, the contractor shall submit a final invoice, based on the accepted quote for lead service removal, along with a completed Application for Reimbursement of Lead Water Service Line Replacement. Upon review and approval of the application, the city will pay 100% of the cost of the lead service removal, up to a maximum of $5,000, directly to the contractor. Construction and restoration costs above the maximum award amount shall be the responsibility of the property owner.


9.Program will remain open if funding is available. Applications submitted that are not funded will be placed on a wait list.


Contact Information

Ripon Water Utility – (920)748-4900


Jeremy Jess - Utility Manager - (920)748-4912 -