Problem with Lead Pipe Replacement Program

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Topic: Problem with Lead Pipe Replacement Program

Home and Garden January 26, 2013 at 6:53 pm

Problem with Lead Pipe Replacement Program

Hi fellow Popvillians,
I wanted to tap collective wisdom and see if anyone had experience with lead pipe replacement.  I’ve hit a brick wall with the process and am not too sure how to proceed. 
The long story short is that I applied for and WASA submitted a notice to proceed to the WASA contractor on 16 Nov.  My WASA contact (Mr. Walsh) said that their contractor responsible for obtaining the permits and carrying out the work was a bit slow, and that I may have to wait 6 weeks before the permit would be issued.  As we inched toward the end of 6 weeks, I was told it would be closer to 8 weeks. Now, I’m sitting at 10 weeks, and apparently WASA’s contractor still doesn’t have a permit in hand.  While Mr. Walsh from WASA has been very nice, responsive to my emails and apologetic about the delay, I don’t have much faith that I won’t be sitting in the same position a few weeks from now.
I know this city is notoriously difficult when it comes to permits, but while I’ve had delays with DCRA, I’ve always been able to move things along by continual follow up, visits, etc.  But, here, I’m not sure the ins and out of the process and don’t know what I should be doing, who I should be calling, etc.  I am willing to take a day or two off work to stand in whatever lines I need to, or even hire a professional permit person to push this through… Does anyone have some insight? 
Many thanks in advance and happy Saturday night!
Rachel

5 Replies Add Reply

TT

I went through this process about 2 years ago.  It took forever.  One of the biggest delays, if I recall correctly, was DDOT refusing to issue the permit necessary to allow the repair crew to work in the road (I am not on a major street).
DC Water’s contractor was Corinthian Construction.  Everyone I talked to at Corinthian Construction and DC Water was very nice, but seemed to have little power to actually move things forward.  I finally got it resolved by contacting DC Water’s office of public affairs.

Hey – thanks for the reply.  That’s exactly what’s going on w/ my application!  I’ll give the public affairs office a try.  It’s a shame that the process hasn’t gotten any easier :(

TT

OK, I just searched back through my emails.  I applied for the LSL replacement program with DC Water in November 2010 and they approved my request in December 2010.  I began coordinating with DC Water’s contractor (Corinthian Construction) in December 2010.  They were ready to do the work as soon as the permits issued.
Long story short, the permits weren’t issued until June 2011 (over 6 months later).  According to the folks I spoke with at DC Water, DC Department of Transportation was refusing to grant the necessary public space occupancy permits to allow the contractor to do the work.  According to DC Water there were dozens of other DC residents in the same position as me — DDOT was apparently refusing to grant any permits to DC Water for lead service line replacements, despite the fact that DC Water was ready and willing to move forward.  The folks at DC Water agreed the situation was ridiculous, but insisted that there was nothing they could do to help.
In the end, I emailed by ANC commissioner (who never responded) and pushed hard on DC Water’s office of public affairs.  DC Water’s office of public affairs finally contacted the right people and made it happen.
I actually asked PoPville about the whole process right when I was starting, here http://www.popville.com/2010/11/dear-pop-water-service-lines/

i gave up on the process. the contractor which does the public side kept delaying. from what DC WATER told me is that the contractor wants to schedule as many of these as they can in one day and since demand is not high you wait until they queue up.
also getting the permit took 3 months i was told it took 2 weeks then 6 weeks and finally it was issued +3 months  after they were submitted.
i decided to cancel with this since i couldnt stand dealing with dc for the permit and their contractor. so frustrating.
i recommend that you do a water test to see if any lead is leaking into water supply. in my case it was not so i was confortable not replacing them just yet.

yup after 30 days and you have to reapply. 

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