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Dear PoP – Water service lines?

Photo by PoPville flickr user fromcaliw/love

“Dear PoP,

We recently purchased a row house in Petworth that will be undergoing some pretty serious renovations. One thing we had not counted on, however, is replacement of the water service line. As it turns out, we have an old galvanized water line (1/2″ or 3/4″) connected to DC Water’s lead service line. I hear that this is just about the worst possible combination from a contaminant point of view. (see, e.g., From my conversation with DC Water, it sounds like most of Petworth is in the same boat. DC Water is slowly replacing many of the lead service lines in the district, but there are no plans for our block any time soon. However, I understand that if you replace the private side of your service line (the part on your property), then DC Water will replace the lead service line on the public side. (see

As part of our plumbing upgrades in the house, we are apparently required to upgrade to 1″ copper service. Has anyone else performed a similar upgrade/replacement? Who are some good plumbing contractors in the area that can handle this, and approximately how much should we expect to pay? Anything in particular we need to watch out for?”

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