The Water Research Foundation (WRF), a leading sponsor of research supporting the water community, has announced two projects that will help utilities reduce customer exposure to lead levels in drinking water.

“Service Line Material Identification Techniques” will investigate techniques, technologies, and strategies to differentiate service line pipe materials, with a focus on technologies that can be implemented remotely without directly contacting the pipe.

Additionally, funding has been added to the project, “Evaluation of Flushing to Reduce Lead Levels” (project #4584), to evaluate the impacts of home tap flushing after full lead service line (LSL) replacement and to provide better guidance to water systems on frequency and duration of flushing.

Water Research Foundation CEO Rob Renner said: “These projects build upon important prior research conducted by the Water Research Foundation in lead service line identification and flushing.

“The ultimate goal of both projects is to identify innovative ways to reduce customer lead exposure from drinking water.”

The project, “Service Line Material Identification Techniques” (#4693) will develop a literature review and multiple case studies to identify innovative lead service line identification technologies and if feasible, recommend those technologies for future field testing verification. An RFP has been issued for this project with proposals due by 5 PM ET on August 24.

The project, “Evaluation of Flushing to Reduce Lead Levels” (#4584) will result in guidance to utilities on how to perform in-home tap flushing following a service line disturbance (partial or full replacement). Guidance will include flushing duration, frequency, and different options depending on the type of lead being released (dissolved or particulate).

The research for project #4584 is being conducted by David A. Cornwell Ph.D., P.E., and Richard Brown, P.E., with Cornwell Engineering Group.

The Water Research Foundation has been studying lead in drinking water for over 25 years. This information is summarized in an overview paper that provides a basic understanding of the issues surrounding lead and copper corrosion and the Lead and Copper Rule (LCR).