Press Release

Citizens Energy Group Will Replace Lead Service Lines Ahead of Upcoming Indy DPW Road Construction Projects

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January 29, 2024

Press Release

_As Citizens accelerates Lead Service Line Replacement Program in 2024, crews will work with Indy DPW to complete replacements at buildings adjacent to road construction zones, including along E New York and E Michigan streets. _

INDIANAPOLIS – Citizens Energy Group today announced a collaboration with the Indianapolis Department of Public Works (Indy DPW) to complete lead service line replacements for homes and buildings along city crews' upcoming roadway construction zones. With service line replacements beginning in the next days and weeks along E New York and E Michigan streets, the partnership on roadway capital projects is one of several ways Citizens will accelerate the lead service line replacement program in 2024.

Citizens and Indy DPW made the announcement Monday at a site along E Michigan Street where Citizens will soon complete lead service line replacements ahead of Indy DPW's coming work to convert the roadway to two-way traffic. In their remarks, city and community leaders noted the efficiency accomplished by the collaboration--residents will see two different projects completed more quickly, without multiple excavations of the roadway. An image from the press announcement is at the bottom of this release.

"When we work together, it is our customers—the residents of Indianapolis—who share in the benefits of more efficient, less intrusive construction projects," said Citizens Energy Group CEO and President Jeffrey Harrison.

The lead service line replacement program Citizens is implementing will replace all customer-owned service lines made of lead at homes and buildings across Indianapolis at no additional cost for customers. While there is no lead in water distributed to Citizens customers, the surest way to provide the highest protection against lead exposure in drinking water is through full replacement for customers who own lead service lines.

"On one hand, we are removing the potential for exposure to lead in drinking water by replacing property owners’ lead service lines," said Mayor Joe Hogsett. "But with a two-way conversion, we are restoring part of that ‘neighborhood’ feeling these streets once had."

As part of the two-way street conversion capital projects, E Michigan and E New York street--between College Avenue and Ellenberger Park--are two of the initial collaboration zones with Indy DPW for lead service line replacement; this is in addition to W Michigan Street alongside Indy DPW's West Michigan Street Road Diet project. Citizens customers in these areas with lead service lines have received or will soon receive mailed packets with information on how to participate in a replacement from Citizens crews.

The multi-year lead service line replacement program kicked off in 2022, with Citizens crews replacing more than 400 service lines in the first year. Citizens will accelerate the program in 2024 by increasing replacements through partnerships on roadway capital projects; maintenance- or resident-initiated replacements; and proactive replacements in designated focus neighborhoods.

Citizens and Indy DPW regularly work together to increase efficiencies on capital projects, and both have indicated interest in further aligning lead service line replacements and roadways improvements where possible to more quickly and efficiently upgrade infrastructure for Indy’s neighborhoods. 

About the Lead Service Line Replacement Program, implemented by Citizens Energy Group:

Tens of thousands of Citizens customers own buildings which were connected to the water system prior to 1950 and also own service lines that are made of lead or contain lead. Approved in 2022, the LSLRP is a multi-year program to investigate customer-owned service lines that may contain lead and replace them at no additional cost to the customer.

Citizens Energy Group does not have any active water mains made of lead in our distribution system. Citizens regularly monitors tap water from customers’ homes in accordance with U.S. EPA’s Lead and Copper Rule. No elevated levels of lead have been found through regular monitoring of Citizens’ system. Still, the surest method to avoid lead exposure in drinking water is to fully replace customer-owned infrastructure (service lines) containing lead or lead-based connections. Replacements will be accomplished in several ways: in coordination with capital improvement projects; in proactive focus neighborhood areas; or as initiated by customers for the upgrade or maintenance of their own service line.

Citizens Energy Group Will Replace Lead Service Lines Ahead of Upcoming Indy DPW Road Construction Projects