Jan 20, 2011

Water Research Foundation Awarded Grant to Evaluate New Pipe Coating Technologies

Research will evaluate lining and coating technologies for lead service line replacement

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded the Water Research Foundation (WaterRF) a $600,000 STAR Grant to conduct research that will comprehensively evaluate lead service line (LSL) lining and coating technologies as alternatives to full or partial LSL replacement. The research also will evaluate the use of these coatings as a means of protecting and repairing both lead and copper service lines.

WaterRF is contracting with Dr. Steve Randtke of the University of Kansas to conduct the bulk of the required research; the foundation will manage the project, which is scheduled to be completed by 2013. Once complete, the research findings will be available to all foundation members and public health organizations. Lead in drinking water is an issue of growing importance nationally, and this research is the latest in a series of foundation studies that address different aspects of this issue.

“This research will provide water utilities, engineering consultants, decision-makers, consumers and other interested parties with the science-based information and supporting documentation needed to make informed decisions regarding lining and coating of both lead and copper service lines,” said Rob Renner, WaterRF executive director. “As such, it should prove invaluable to all parties involved in the evaluation of existing service lines to determine how that drinking water infrastructure can be cost-effectively maintained or repaired. Given the overall age and condition of the nation’s drinking water infrastructure, this research comes at a perfect time.”

The grant was awarded to WaterRF through a competitive solicitation process established by EPA’s National Center for Environmental Research. Its Science to Achieve Results (STAR) program funds research grants in numerous environmental science and engineering disciplines. One the areas STAR is currently focused on is drinking water.