Lead Service Lines

Lead Service Line Repair Policy

Maintenance and repair of water service lines are a responsibility of the property owner.  Bismarck City Ordinance Title11-02-01.1g states all service pipes, curb boxes, corporation stops, shut off boxes and any other fixtures off of the main are the property of the owner and must be kept in repair at the owner's expense. This policy establishes the conditions under which the City of Bismarck will incur or reimburse costs using the Service Line Repair Fund.

Eligibility of Water Service Lines: Water service lines connected to the City water main which serve residential properties with four living units or less, are charged a monthly fee to establish a Service Line Repair Fund. Those properties that pay the monthly fee into the fund are eligible for reimbursement of costs according to the following policies:

Lead Service Line Replacement Policy:
  1. The lead service line replacement policy covers removal of lead water service line from the City water main to the curb stop.
  2. The work is only eligible if completed in combination with the property owner's replacement of the lead water service line between the curb stop and the meter. 
  3. The direct cost of the work from the City water main to the curb stop including any surface restoration deemed necessary by the Director of Utility Operations is eligible for reimbursement.
  4. Due to the health and safety related issues related to lead service lines, the City of Bismarck will allow the property owner's replacement cost of the lead service line from the curb stop to the meter to be paid through a special assessment on the property.  Lead Service Line Repair Policy

Options to consider

Drinking water that leaves the Bismarck water treatment plant does not contain lead.  Potential lead levels in drinking water are linked to homes constructed, typically before the 1940s, with a lead service line.  The city provides corrosion control in the water system to keep levels in compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act.  However, EPA recommends lead levels of 0 mg/L as a goal, and this goal may not be obtainable if you have a lead service line. 

If you have a home constructed prior to the 1940s and would like to know more, the first step is to identify if you have a lead service line.  You can work with a plumber or call Bismarck Public Works at 355-1700 to schedule a visit from our Field Service Representative to confirm if you have a lead service line.

If you have a lead service line, you have several options to consider on how you may want to proceed.  Work with a lab to test your lead levels, review the recommendations on filters, install a certified filter on the tap you use for drinking and cooking, and replacement of your lead service line with financial assistance through the city lead service line replacement policy are all options homeowners can consider.

NSF International, a public health and safety organization that tests and certifies residential drinking water filtration systems, has confirmed three water filters currently certified for lead reduction. Here are the links to verify each certification: 
Brita Faucet Filter System SAFF-100PUR Faucet Water Filter System and the ZeroWater® 23-Cup Dispenser. View the table below for state certified laboratories that test lead levels.

State Certified L

aboratories that Test Lead Levels

Minnesota Valley Testing Laboratory
2616 East Broadway Ave
Bismarck, ND 58501
Phone: 701-258-9720

North Dakota Department of Health 
Division of Laboratory Services 
2635 East Main, P.O. Box 5520 
Bismarck, ND 58501 
Phone: 701-328-6140 

Energy Labs
1120 South 27th Street
P.O. Box 30916 
Billings, MT 59101
Phone Local: (406) 252-6325
Phone toll-Free: (800) 735-4489

Resource Links
Water Quality Report
Basic Information about Lead in Drinking Water
Lead in Your Drinking Water

Lead Service Line information video

Brita Faucet Filter System SAFF-100
PUR Faucet Water Filter System
ZeroWater® 23-Cup Dispenser

Water service line and service pipes slideshow.