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Private Lead Service Line Replacement Program


Year three of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law-funded Lead Service Line (LSL) Replacement funding will be incorporated into the regular Safe Drinking Water Loan Program (SDWLP) State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2025 funding cycle. A similar approach is planned for each of the following years of BIL funding.

SFY 2025 Application deadline

Submit SFY 2025 SDWLP Applications for LSL projects though the online system by July 1, 2024. Note: When a deadline falls on a weekend or legal holiday, that deadline is extended to the next business day, per s. 990.001(4), Wis. Stats.

To help applicants through the application process, information, instructions, and guidance documents are on the Online Systems page.

SFY 2026 Intent to Apply deadline

Submit SFY 2026 SDWLP notices of Intent to Apply (ITA) with Priority Evaluation & Ranking Formula (PERF) information through the online system by October 31, 2024.


Sign up for Environmental Loans newsletters to get updates about the LSL program, BIL requirements and related topics.

BIL-funded LSL Replacement Program

The first and second years of Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) LSL Replacement funding will be integrated into the regular SDWLP State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2024 funding cycle. A similar approach is planned for each of the following years of BIL funding.

WIFTA LSL Program wrapping up

The current Private LSL Replacement Program funded by the Water Infrastructure Fund Transfer Act (WIFTA) gave recipients a blanket extension to the previous December 2022 deadline for completion of work. Further information is under the Disbursement Requests heading below. Any funds not utilized in the WIFTA program will be added to the new BIL-funded LSL Replacement Program.

Private LSL Replacement Program

At least 63 million dollars in principal forgiveness funding is available for Wisconsin municipalities to replace lead service lines (LSLs) on private property. Recent federal legislation allows states to make a one-time transfer of funds from the Clean Water State Revolving Fund to the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund to address lead related threats.

For purposes of this funding, the private portion of an LSL is defined as the portion between the curb stop and the normal connection point inside the building. This distinction applies even in instances where the customer owns the entire LSL.

Health risks

Removing lead service lines is one way to minimize the potential for lead to get into your drinking water. When people come in contact with lead, it may enter their bodies and accumulate over time, resulting in damage to the brain, nervous system, red blood cells, and kidneys. Its presence in the body can lead to toxic effects, regardless of age, gender, or exposure pathway. The Wisconsin DNR Bureau of Drinking Water & Groundwater provides information regarding the concerns of lead in drinking water.

LSL program description

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR), in collaboration with the Department of Administration and the Public Service Commission, established the Private Lead Service Line (LSL) Replacement Program to assist municipalities in their efforts to replace private LSLs. This program builds on the past success of the two-year Private LSL Replacement Program and serves as a momentum-builder for removing all LSLs in Wisconsin. See the Safe Drinking Water Loan Program (SDWLP) Intended Use Plan for a detailed description of the Private LSL Replacement Program.

  • Funding for LSL replacements on private property will be awarded as principal forgiveness (PF), which means no debt is incurred on behalf of the municipality for these funds.
  • The private portion of the service line is defined as the portion between the curb stop and the normal connection point inside the building.
  • The public portion of the service line is eligible for regular SDWLP funding.

Webinars and Slides


Funding is not limited to disadvantaged municipalities; any municipality that has reported private lead or galvanized service lines to the PSC will be eligible to apply. The Safe Drinking Water Loan Program is not able to award funds directly to individual homeowners.

Cost and project eligibility

Construction-related costs that are considered eligible include the following:

  • Removal of private LSLs or service lines made of galvanized iron or galvanized steel (that are currently or have previously been downstream of lead components), or removal of lead goosenecks (on the private side), and replacement with a pipe of an acceptable material. Only the portion between the curb stop and the normal connection point inside the building is eligible for funding.
  • Site restoration, including landscaping, sidewalks, driveways, etc. if the removal was necessary in order to replace the private LSL.
  • Electrical grounding if an LSL is replaced with a non-metallic material.
  • Permit fees if the fees are normal, required, and specific to the private LSL replacement.
  • The cost of hiring a Cultural Resources Management firm (CRM) if this is required due to archaeological or historical issues discovered during the environmental review process.
  • Relocation of an LSL to a more desirable location if the relocation results in a lower cost for the replacement (should be discussed in advance).
  • Relocation of an LSL or similar situations where changes are needed in order to be compliant with applicable administrative codes (should be discussed in advance).
  • Other situations that may arise may be discussed with your assigned project manager on a case-by-case basis to determine eligibility.”

The program may be used for costs associated with replacing lines at the following properties:

  • Residential properties (including multi-family buildings and buildings that contain both business and residential occupants);
  • Pre-K–12 schools;
  • Licensed/certified daycare centers; and
  • Nonresidential properties, other than schools and daycares, connected to a watermain that is being replaced and funded by the SDWLP (under certain conditions—see the SDWLP IUP for details).

Funds cannot be used to replace interior plumbing and/or fixtures containing lead (for funding options, contact the DOA's CDBG Housing Revolving Loan Fund Program).

Awards will only cover construction costs, with the following exceptions:

  • Up to $5,000 for engineering and administrative support will be available for small systems (municipal population under 3,300).
  • Up to $5,000 for costs related to developing a mandatory replacement ordinance will be available to all applicants.

Awards will be 100% principal forgiveness and will be made for one construction season at a time. Funding is also available for LSL replacements completed during the previous construction season as long as the replacements meet the necessary federal requirements to be eligible: environmental review; use of American iron and steel; compliance with Davis-Bacon and Related Acts, when applicable; no partial replacements (see below).

Awards will be based on the following:

  • The estimated number of LSLs that the municipality can replace in one construction season;
  • Average cost per LSL replacement, based on data collected during the previous two-year LSL replacement program and other local data;
  • Whether the municipality is participating in the PSC-approved program using ratepayer funds to cover up to 50% of the cost of LSL replacements. In this situation we will work with the municipality to determine an equitable sharing of costs; and
  • Whether any cost-sharing from homeowners will be required.

Disbursement requests

The December 31, 2022 deadline for completion of work has been extended to June 30, 2023. Final disbursement requests under the awards are due no later than Friday, July 28, 2023, and awards will be closed out at that time.

  • A list of all addresses where LSLs were replaced along with the material type of the new service line, is required to be submitted as part of project closeout.
  • The corresponding loan disbursement will be wired to the recipient on Wednesday, August 9, 2023.
  • Only work completed by June 30, 2023, will be reimbursable for the 2022 construction season.

The last date to execute a Financial Assistance Agreement (FAA) for a 2022 LSL project is Wednesday, February 22, 2023.

  • Any applicant who has not yet executed a FAA must do so by this date or their allocation of funds will be returned to the program. Any funds not utilized in the WIFTA-funded Private LSL Replacement Program will be added to the new BIL-funded LSL Replacement Program.

Priority Evaluation and Ranking Form


Submit a Financial Assistance Application through the online system. LSL applications are now being submitted through the regular SDWLP process.

Setting up a municipal LSL replacement program

Municipalities have options for how they establish a private LSL replacement program, with the understanding that the LSL PF can only be used for the cost of replacing private LSLs that result in the full replacement of the lead service line for that property. There are a number of things that need to be considered when deciding how to set up a private LSL replacement program.

Private LSL replacement can be accomplished through a municipally-bid contract or through a municipal program where the homeowners contract directly with a plumber/contractor from a prequalified list. These options are described in detail below.

Note: The Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) licenses plumbers and enforces the state plumbing codes.

Municipal program with prequalified list of plumbers

Under this option the municipality issues a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) in order to prequalify plumbers/contractors for participation in the private LSL replacement program (see Prequalification Considerations). Homeowners contract directly with a plumber from the prequalified list and then are either reimbursed by the municipality or the municipality can pay the plumber directly on the homeowner's behalf. If the municipality will be paying the plumber/contractor directly, this must be explicitly stated in the agreements established between the municipality and the homeowners.

If plumbers/contractors on the prequalified list do not want to handle site restoration, it is permissible to use the RFQ process to develop a list of prequalified contractors (landscapers, etc.) for homeowners to contract with directly for the purpose of site restoration.

Municipal Programs were the most requested option under the DNR's previous two-year private LSL replacement program. Municipalities developed their own criteria for the programs, including:

  • funds prioritized based on the age of the children in the home;
  • funds prioritized based on household income;
  • fully-funded private LSL replacement;
  • cost-shared private LSL replacement;
  • funds made available through a revolving loan program (note that funds must revolve until all private LSLs in the municipality have been replaced);
  • voluntary homeowner participation; and
  • mandatory homeowner participation.

Municipal contract

Under this option the municipality bids out the private LSL replacement work through their normal municipal contracting process. All costs are paid directly by the municipality who coordinates the timing of the private LSL replacement with the homeowner. If desired by the municipality, cost-sharing by the homeowner can still be required under this method.

Federal requirements

Private Lead Service Line Replacement projects are federally funded; therefore, federal requirements apply.

Davis-Bacon wage rates

  • For municipal contracts - Federal Davis-Bacon wage rates are required when the municipality directly contracts for the work. For further guidance, please see Complying with Davis-Bacon and Related Acts (DBRA).
  • For municipal programs - Federal Davis-Bacon wage rates may not be required when the homeowner contracts directly with the prequalified plumber, even if the municipality pays the plumber directly. Applicability depends on property ownership or the type of firm performing the work. In addition, Davis-Bacon wage rates are not required on contracts for $2,000 or less. For further guidance, please see Davis-Bacon Applicability in the Private LSL Replacement Program.

Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) solicitation

  • When utilizing a prequalified list of plumbers, DBE compliance should occur at every level of contracting, including the municipality’s Request for Qualifications (RFQ) and by the plumbers/contractors if any subcontracting is done.
  • When bidding out the project as a municipal contract, DBE compliance is required when soliciting bids and by the Prime contractor if any subcontracting is done. To document compliance, municipalities must submit the DBE Good Faith Certification Form 8700-294.
  • Suggested language for bid advertisement or plumber prequalification: "We encourage DBEs, including MBEs and WBEs, to submit bid proposals/apply for the purpose of being included on the municipality's list of prequalified plumbers for the Private Lead Service Line replacement program."
  • For more detail, please refer to DBE Solicitation for Private LSL Replacement Program.

Environmental Review (ER)

Note: LSL applications are now being submitted through the regular SDWLP process. The Environmental Review (ER) module in the online application system must be completed as part of the SDWLP application submittal. Read the SDWLP Environmental Review Guide (PUB-CF-060).

American Iron and Steel (AIS)

  • This requirement may not effect LSL replacement projects but must still be included.
  • Plumbers on a prequalified list or bidders on a municipal contract should certify to the following: "All materials used in the project are in full compliance with the American Iron and Steel requirement as mandated in EPA's State Revolving Fund programs."
  • See our AIS web page for further guidance.


EPA’s Guidance for Developing and Maintaining a Service Line Inventory (08/22)

Sample mandatory LSL replacement ordinances

Questions and Answers for Homeowners PUB-CF-073

Visit the general LSL Replacements web page to read about the following:

  • Funding options for LSL replacement;
  • Concerns about lead and partial LSL replacements;
  • Lead pipe waste management;
  • Wisconsin resource communities for LSL replacements;
  • Toolkit from the Lead Service Line Replacement Collaborative;
  • Community Development Block Grant Housing Program; and
  • Environmental Defense Fund.

Calendar Year 2022 Private Lead Service Line Replacement Program

Calendar Year 2021 Private Lead Service Line Replacement Program

Previous two-year private LSL replacement program

Awards were made under the previous private LSL replacement program during State Fiscal Years (SFYs) 2017 and 2018. Eligibility was restricted to municipalities that qualified as disadvantaged under the SDWLP affordability criteria. Forty-two applicants were awarded over $26 million in principal forgiveness funding. Any funding released from awards made under the previous program will be rolled into the new private LSL replacement program.

Contact information
For information on this topic, contact:
Kate Leja-Brennan, lead LSL project manager, and Noah Balgooyen, SDWLP coordinator

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