Royal Oak Township Water Service Line Material Investigation & Lead Service Line Replacement Program

In June of 2018, the State of Michigan adopted one of the strictest lead and coper rule provisions of the Safe Drinking Water Act in the Nation.  A summary of the targeted changes can be found in the related links section at the bottom of the page.  Among these new changes is the requirement to inventory all water service lines and complete full service line replacements at an annual rate so that all lead service lines are removed within 20 years.  In order to comply with these rule changes, the Charter Township of Royal Oak has been working hard to plan and secure funding for the inventory of the water system’s service lines and replacement of lead service lines.  Thus far the Township has been able to secure a loan with 100% principal forgiveness to cover the construction costs of lead service line replacements within the Township and two (2) grants to cover the costs of administering the lead service line replacement program and completing the water service line inventory.  This funding will be used to meet the service line inventory and replacement requirements of the revised Michigan Lead and Copper Rule so that these projects will be completed with zero impact to water rates.

A letter was mailed to every water customer in the Township providing an explanation of these programs, this letter can be found here: 
Resident Information Letter

Water Service Line Material Investigation Program (Inventory)

As required by the amended lead and copper provisions of the Michigan Safe Drinking Water Act (MI-SDWA), a Preliminary Distribution System Materials Inventory (PDSMI) was required to be submitted to the Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) by January 1, 2020.  This PDSMI included a desktop assessment of the inventory and material types of a water system’s service lines (WSLs) based on best available information.  Subsequently, a Complete Distribution System Materials Inventory (CDSMI) is required to be submitted to EGLE by January 1, 2025.  As part of the CDSMI, water supplies must develop an inventory that “characterizes and documents water service line materials and provides demonstration through physical verifications that the inventory is accurate”. EGLE has recently provided documentation entitled “Minimum Service Line Material Verification Requirements” (which can be found in the related links section below) which sets forth parameters by which water supplies will need to define their WSL materials and the process for quantifying and identifying a “randomly selected sample” of WSLs that will require physical verification. 

To evaluate the accuracy of existing service line material information across the entire Township water system and develop this CDSMI, EGLE’s “Minimum Service Line Material Verification Requirements” stipulate that a random number of service lines must be physically verified both inside the home and at the curb stop (which is typically located at the property line in front of your home or business) or points 1, 2 & 3 on the below illustration.


This list of addresses was required to be created using a random number generator.   The Township is required to physically verify the water service line at 154 addresses throughout the Township (which equates to 20% of the Township’s water service lines).  A map and list of the 154 addresses that have been randomly selected for physical verification can be found here:

Map and list of addresses.  These addresses will be receiving a letter in August 2022 with instructions for participation in the program.

If your address is NOT on the randomly generated list of addresses for physical verification, you may still self-report your water service line material by sending the photos and information for your residence or business to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

This email should include the following:

  • Name (first, last)
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Service line material (lead, copper, galvanized, plastic, or other)
  • Photograph of the water service line and water meter (please send a photo similar to the photographs shown on the “How to Identify a Lead Water Service Pipe” flyer)

You will receive a response email confirming acceptance of the service line investigation results or requesting additional information. Any additional information regarding service line materials will improve the accuracy of inventory predictions and aid in the success of the future service line replacement program. For assistance with identifying your water service line material please use the following link:

How to Identify Your Water Service Material: How to identify a lead service pipe flyer

Once the physical verifications are complete, the Township will review the information collected, extrapolate the data and predict the water service line materials of the homes and businesses that were not physically verified.  This predictive analysis will be based on verified service lines in the vicinity, home built year, location, water main age and other applicable factors. This evaluation will help the Township complete its CDSMI in compliance with the revised Michigan Lead and Copper Rule.

Water Service Line Replacement Program

Following the completion of the Verification Program and the CDSMI, the Township will begin its Lead Service Line Replacement Program. Water services that have a verified or self-reported lead service line or are predicted to have a lead service line will be contacted to set up an introductory meeting to confirm the presence of a lead service line (if not already verified), review the scope of the work to replace the lead service line, review the Temporary Access Agreement and schedule their water service replacement. In order to successfully complete a lead service line replacement, a Temporary Use Agreement must be signed to allow for the Township’s contractor to enter your home or business and replace the water service line. Find the temporary use agreement here: Temporary use agreement

The Township intends to start service line replacements in the Spring 2023.

Find more information about the lead service line replacement program here: Lead Service Line General Information Flyer

Horizontal Directional Drilling replacement method:

Pipe pulling replacement method:

Related Links:

What’s Changed with Michigan’s 2018 Lead and Copper Rule:  Lead and Copper Rule

EGLE’s Minimum Service Line Material Verification Requirements:

Find information from EGLE here on how to reduce the potential for lead exposure in drinking water:

Lead and Copper Rule: