Wichita Falls Action Plan
Wichita Falls is currently planning, processing, and placing programs to reduce our customer's exposure to lead from drinking water.
Corrosive water can cause lead to dissolve from the plumbing materials. One way to protect both lead service lines and private plumbing materials containing lead is by controlling the corrosivity of the water.
Finding Lead Service Lines
The service line is the pipe that runs from the water main to the point where the line enters the building. The city and the property owner share ownership. The city owns the portion from the water main to the water meter, including the water meter. The property owner holds the portion from the meter to where it enters the building.
Wichita Falls has no information on the material used in private plumbing lines inside homes and businesses. Customers who think their home or business could be at risk can hire a licensed plumber to perform an inspection.
Replacing Lead Service Lines
Wichita Falls has replaced lead service lines through normal maintenance activity and water line rehabilitation projects. The City of Wichita Falls replaced all the lead service lines it was aware of in the 1980s in preparation for the Lead and Copper Rule (LCR), published in 1991. Any remaining lead service lines found during normal line maintenance and pipe replacement activities have been replaced as they have been encountered.
The EPA has published a revision to the LCR, the Lead and Copper Rule Revisions (LCRR), that will be enacted in October 2024. As a requirement of the new rule revisions, the City is currently investigating, identifying, and cataloging all service lines to ensure no remaining lead service lines within the distribution system.
Property owners and tenants, if applicable, are notified by letter when a lead service line is found.
Removing lead service lines can create a short-term increased risk of lead exposure. Property owners and tenants are notified again when construction is to occur and when it occurs.
Pipe scale and sediment build up over time inside service lines and private plumbing from the minerals in the water. This scale acts as a barrier to lead dissolving into the water as it sits in the pipe. Research indicates that physically disturbing lead pipes can result in prolonged release of pipe scale and sediment containing high lead content, significantly increasing lead exposure risk to residents. This means disturbing the utility's service line or the meter can cause the scale to come off of the private plumbing line on the other side of the meter.
If and when Wichita Falls replaces a lead service line or disturbs a meter where either or both the service line and private plumbing line are lead, a packet is left on the front door notifying the customer this occurred.
Daycare Centers and Schools
There are no federal or state requirements for testing the water at schools and daycare centers in Texas. This applies to new facilities or when facilities change ownership. However, the EPA will require testing of Daycare Centers and High Schools in the future. As the rule is currently proposed, it appears this testing requirement will take place in 2027. Daycare Centers and Schools may request sampling before the required sampling date by calling the Water Purification Laboratory at (940) 691-1153.