Council approves special assessments
By Robert Cloud
At its June 20 meeting, the New London Common Council voted 10-0 in favor of an ordinance to replace lead and galvanized water lines citywide.
The purpose of the ordinance is to reduce lead in city drinking water and ensure that tap water quality meets the standards of the federal Environmental Protection Agency.
“Ideally,” the ordinance seeks “to reduce lead contaminant levels to zero in city drinking water for the health of city residents.”
The ordinance also seeks to “eliminate the constriction of water flow caused by mineral rich groundwater flowing through the lead or galvanized water service pipes and the consequent buildup of mineral deposits inside lead or galvanized pipes.”
Galvanized pipes have a zinc coating that can corrode over time, causing elevated levels of lead in the water.
The ordinance gives New London Utilities the right to inspect water lines on customers’ property.
It also requires property owners to replace lead or galvanized pipes at their own expense.
Owners’ options are to hire a licensed contractor or pay the city to repair the lines.
Owners who select the city to replace the lines can either pay the entire amount upon completion of the work or request that the amount be placed on their property taxes to be billed in annual installments plus interest.
The ordinance also allows New London Utilities to discontinue service to any property served by lead lines that have not been replaced.
Earlier in the meeting, the council approved a resolution to adopt the ordinance upon one reading.
CBS Squared Inc. of Appleton prepared a May 2023 engineer’s report for New London Utilities.
The report estimated the total costs to replace the lead water services to nine properties on Quincy Avenue.
The public portion of the project includes approximately 500 linear feet of 6-inch diameter water main, 575 linear feet of 8-inch diameter water main, spot installation of gate valves to existing water mains, valves, hydrants, water services, sidewalk restoration, asphalt restoration and associated work.
Costs for the overall project are estimated at $406,282.
Total costs for the private lines leading into properties on Quincy are estimated at $34,200.
Individual property owners will be assessed $3,800 each.