A look at the Lead Service Line Replacement Program in Iowa communities

The U.S. EPA has allocated additional funds for lead service line replacement program in Iowa communities.

Does your drinking water come from lead pipes, also known as service lines? Chances are more likely if your house was built before 1950. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates more than 96,000 lead service lines in Iowa, potentially exposing many homes to lead depending on the materials and methods used for plumbing.

The EPA's latest proposal for Lead and Copper Rule Improvements (LCRI) requires public water systems across the U.S. to replace lead service lines within 10 years. The historic $15 billion in funding through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law aims for 100% lead service line replacement while providing technical assistance to communities and developing lead service line inventories. How can you access this funding to replace lead service lines in your community?

This blog post presents available funding through grant programs in Iowa and explains why you should partner with an experienced team of water engineers to replace lead service lines in your community.

Lead service line replacement program in Iowa

The Lead and Copper Rule Revisions (LCRR) requires water systems to identify and make public the locations of lead service lines through a lead service line inventory, which helps:

  • Assess the extent of lead service lines in your community.
  • Identify better sampling locations.
  • Start planning for lead service line replacement, including applying for state and federal grants.

The proposed LCRI requires locating legacy lead pipes, improving tap sampling, lowering the lead action level and replacing 100% of lead service lines within 10 years.

Accordingly, all community water supplies in Iowa must build a lead service line inventory by Oct. 16, 2024, and submit it to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. As your community develops a lead service line inventory, the next step is to apply for funding to replace the service lines. The following table highlights available funding under the lead service line replacement program in Iowa.

Funds for lead service line replacement program in Iowa

Drinking Water Loan Program

Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act (WIIN Act) Program

  • It falls under the State Revolving Fund (SRF), which provides Iowa communities with low-cost funds to invest in safe drinking water infrastructure.  

  1. It funds: 

  • Water treatment plants or upgrades to facilities.

  • Water storage facilities and wells. 

  • Water line extensions to unserved communities.

  • Source water protection efforts. 

  1. Funds public schools and childcare centers for:

  • Voluntary testing for lead in drinking water. 

  • Retesting of structures to assess if lead levels are above the state and federal action levels. 

  • Additional educational resources. 

 In February 2024, the EPA announced a $5.8 billion investment through the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds (SRFs). Nearly half of the funding will be available as grants or principal forgiveness loans to upgrade water infrastructure, including replacing lead service lines. The EPA is expected to allocate additional resources exclusively for lead pipe removal and replacement in the coming months.

Latest news on lead service line replacement funding in Iowa

Accessing Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) - Lead Service Line Replacement (LSLR) funding in Iowa


The Iowa SRF has recently introduced LSLR funding which is part of the normal SRF program but has a separate pool of funding. Funds worth $30 million are available under the LSLR funding with 0% interest, and 49% of the funds will be allocated to disadvantaged communities, as determined by the SRF program.    


Iowa communities are asked to apply for the DWSRF - LSLR funding by June 15, 2024, through a simplified application consisting of:

  1. SRF application form, including replacements that can be done in two to three years.

  2. Budget for replacements.

  3. List of specific addresses for replacement.

  4. Viability assessment.


Notably, the application will not require the LSLR Plan until September 2024. 

All this means more funding for lead service line replacements in Iowa communities. As public water systems gear up to prepare lead service line inventories, it is time to partner with an experienced team of water engineers to replace lead service lines in your community.  

Partnering with Fehr Graham to replace lead service lines in Iowa

At Fehr Graham, we are committed to providing water engineering solutions to help communities access safe and reliable drinking water. Our team has helped municipalities across the Midwest replace more than 2,900 lead service lines. We have also helped numerous clients secure lead service line inventory grants and funding for service line replacement.

With Fehr Graham's expertise, your community can successfully navigate each stage of lead service line replacement — from building lead service inventory to funding, planning and replacing lead service pipes.

To learn how Fehr Graham can help your community with the lead service line replacement program in Iowa, contact us or give us a call at 563.927.2060.