The new Lead and Copper Rule Revisions (LCRR) went into effect on December 16th, 2021, and many communities are simply looking for a place to start. Not only has the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) mandated steps to take for water systems nationwide, but in many cases, states have taken this further with additional state-specific requirements. The clock is ticking, with a compliance deadline of October 16th, 2024. Some water systems are evaluating lead & copper rule management software to help streamline program activities.
Three tips for evaluating software to help with LCRR compliance
Tip #1: Get started now
Utilities have a little over two years to achieve LCRR compliance and it’s critical to know the body of work that will be required for compliance now. Additionally, every water purveyor is expected to continue operating their system to standards they’ve built for themselves while they work towards compliance. Some utilities won’t have a great deal of work to do, but others will. The sooner there’s an understanding of the level of effort, the better.
Even organizations who have a high degree of certainty that they don’t have issues with lead are still required to identify the material of all their laterals. Addressing this now can save you the headache of creating a lead service line (LSL) Replacement Plan which will be mandated for all systems with LSLs or unknowns by October 16, 2024. And unknown laterals must have material identified on both the municipality side of the meter as well as the homeowner’s side to take them out of the “unknown” category.
Simply put, there could be a lot of work to do and not a lot of time to do it. Start your research by looking for software solutions dedicated to helping tackle the management of LCRR-related programs, whether it’s developing a web-based LSL inventory or tracking the progress of a full LSL replacement project.
Some factors to consider when researching LCRR software solutions include:
- A cloud-based platform
- Availability of web and mobile applications to provide a public-facing inventory database
- Ability to send notifications and share data with residents and key stakeholders
- Built-in machine learning to help with tasks such as identifying material types
- Water sample tracking
- Integrations with databases such as geographic information systems (GIS) or computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS)
Tip #2: Ensure any solution you deploy will be flexible and scalable
The most daunting step for many municipalities in LCRR compliance is no doubt the creation of a full service line inventory. Organizations with a service area population over 50,000 are mandated to publish that inventory online, but even if you’re under the 50,000 mark, you’re still mandated to provide your inventory upon request. This will be a challenge for those who haven’t yet engaged ratepayers, and the most efficient use of time is to establish a “living inventory” of your LSLs as your staff members collect data on your unknowns.
If you do have lead issues in your system, it’s critical to:
- Track filter distribution
- Streamline violation reporting
- Manage right of entry
- Stay connected with your residents as they make their own service line replacements
Software solutions deployed to serve as a guideline for LCRR compliance should scale accordingly as a municipality collects and grows its lead-specific data. Ideally, your LCRR software solution should be built as a centralized data hub for all things related to the Lead & Copper Rule, as many of the critical inputs for LCRR compliance can come from external data sources in various file formats.
And save yourself from duplicating data collection efforts. Look for solutions constructed with a series of APIs set up for data sharing between applications.
Tip #3: Trust the pros
Know who built the software solution you’re evaluating. Search for solutions built by technical experts with “deep bench” knowledge in the lead-in-drinking water space. Your LCRR software solution should be more than just an off-the-shelf product. Its developers should have worked closely with industry experts who have hands-on experience assembling a whole range of lead-related programs from simple solutions for LSL inventory development to more complex full LSL replacement programs.
Consider leadCAST when evaluating Lead & Copper Rule management software
Trinnex created leadCAST, a cloud-based software solution to support infrastructure leaders as they embark on their journey towards LCRR 2024 compliance. Water engineering experts from both Trinnex and our parent company, CDM Smith, such as those who worked on the industry-leading Newark, NJ LSL program, not only contributed to building and testing leadCAST, but are also available to support the full lifecycle of lead-related programs: from inventory development to replacement. Schedule a free leadCAST consultation today to learn more about our purpose-built software and implementation support services.