BlueConduit introduces lead service line cost estimator

As water utilities across the United States work to find and replace lead service lines (LSLs), many are doing so without knowing just how many are in their system. To help utilities plan, water analytics company BlueConduit has launched a free LSL count and replacement cost estimator

The recently released tool, part of BlueConduit Starter, combines machine learning with public records to estimate the number of unknown lead service lines at the water system level. It also provides an initial cost estimate so cities can plan ahead, meet the EPA’s Lead and Copper Rule Revision requirements, and apply for funding. 

The new water system-level tool is available to utilities and utility staff, and is a separate offering from BlueConduit’s subscription platform, which creates address-level predictions.

“Water utilities tell us they lack insight into their total lead service line count and the estimated cost to remove those lines,” says Lorne Groe, CEO at BlueConduit. “As part of our mission to empower communities to prioritize health and sustainability through data science, we’ve created this tool to help utilities prepare their funding requests and plan for their address-by-address service line inventory and LSL replacement.” 

In December 2021, the EPA released its Revised Lead and Copper Rule (LCRR), requiring all U.S. water systems to develop address-level lead service line inventories by Oct. 16, 2024. In January of 2023, the White House set a goal of replacing the nation’s lead pipes in the next decade. BlueConduit originated the approach of using machine learning to predict lead service line locations.

“When utilities have the information they need to plan to replace lead service lines efficiently, everyone wins: the city, the ratepayers, and, most of all, the residents,” adds Groe. “BlueConduit Starter is part of the critical solution for reducing lead exposure, a significant public health issue across the United States.” and The Rockefeller Foundation provided support so that BlueConduit Starter can be provided free of charge to utilities.

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