To provide the safest and best quality drinking water, New Holstein Utilities has been monitoring lead levels in its drinking water for decades. This is required by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) for all Wisconsin municipalities. Through monitoring of a small number of samples over the years, the lead levels in drinking water is slowly rising. This is in part due to the lead pipes used in some utility and private service laterals which bring water from the water mains to the buildings where it is used.
In October of 2020, the WDNR mandated that all municipally owned (utility) and privately owned (property owner) lead service laterals in New Holstein must be replaced by October of 2022. There are approximately 350 privately-owned lead service laterals buried in New Holstein. This is approximately 25% of all properties in the community.
To get the lead service laterals removed, New Holstein Utilities is in the process of working with an engineering firm to garner bids to replace the lead piping on the customer’s property. Property owners may also contact a local plumber to do the work. While this will be the property owner’s expense (several thousands of dollars), NHU has applied to grant funding to assist in reducing the cost of the replacement. The plan is to remove about 150 lead service laterals in 2021 (during the summer and early fall) and the remainder in 2022. New Holstein Utilities will provide more information on this project as it develops.