SPRINGFIELD, Vt. — Officials from the Springfield Water Department had a public hearing Wednesday on the status of the second year of the nine-year lead replacement program which is expected to be completed in 2028.

In the summer of 2019, the Springfield Water Department had reportedly completed the assessment and replacement of lead goosenecks on Furnace Street and Olive Street.

The water department assessed 19 service connections in the Furnace and Olive Street areas over a period of several months from February to April 2019 and found four lead goosenecks that needed replacement. The replacements were completed during the summer.

The same process will happen for South Street and Union Street this year from February to April as 21 connections will need assessing through water samples performed by the water department.

Presently, on South and Union Street officials will leave door hangers to notify residents of the water department’s call for water samples until April.

According to the informational handout, “The Town of Springfield’s drinking water system has limited experience encountering and replacing lead service lines. However, through recent research the town has found that services on original cast iron water lines (pre-1950s) may have lead goosenecks.”

This requires an assessment of 161 connections over the next nine years in residential areas within the the town limits.

The handout also explains that the project began centrally downtown and is now working into outer residencies.

“The town water department has completed an inventory of all water lines and goosenecks in the downtown area,” the handout stated. “Over the past year, the town has solicited volunteers to have their water sampled and completed exploratory excavations to verify gooseneck materials. Once a lead gooseneck is identified, the town notifies the property owner and diligently works to replace the gooseneck.”

Officials say the procedure follows standard operating procedures.

Property owners will have 60 days to respond to the town for a water sample. If residents do not respond then town officials will complete an in person follow-up after the expiration of the 60 day notice.

According to the procedure handout the town will move forward in the event of non-compliance with exploratory excavation.

“When property owners fail to respond, town will move forward with exploratory excavation, either in-house or by an independent contractor, to visually confirm service line material. Work will be scheduled by advanced notice. A second door hanger will be left at property prior to, during and after excavation.”

Springfield Water Department Chief Operator Roy Farrar said the assessment and excavation to replace lead goosenecks is staying one step ahead of the highway road repair plans.

“We are trying to assess and replace found lead goosenecks before road maintenance has to come through,” Farrar said.

According to the handout, town officials note the hazards of lead pipes and instruct residents to consider the safety of their water.

The handout also advises that you should run your water for 1-2 minutes or until it becomes cold before using it for drinking or cooking to flush out lead.

To test your water for lead, please call the town water department at (802) 886-2208 to determine if your service may have a lead gooseneck.

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