$3 Million RI Infrastructure Bank Loan Allows Providence Water to Offer 0%, 10-Year Loans for Customers to Replace Private Side Lead Service Lines

(PROVIDENCE, R.I. – May 29, 2020) A $3 million loan from the Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank (RIIB) will allow Providence Water to continue and significantly improve on a pilot zero percent interest loan program for customers to replace private side lead service lines in their homes.

Beginning in 2018, Providence Water has offered customers zero percent, three-year loans to replace private side lead service lines in their homes. To date, 348 of customers have taken advantage of the pilot program, 291 have had their private side lead service lines replaced, and 343 are on a project waiting list.

Recognizing the success of, and customer demand for, service line replacements, Providence Water entered into conversations with RIIB on ways to improve the program. RIIB’s $3 million loan, approved in January 2020, will now allow Providence Water to offer the zero percent interest loan program with a ten-year repayment period. Spacing out zero percent interest loan repayments over ten-years will make the program even more affordable and attractive to customers seeking to replace their private side lead service lines. To date, the average replacement cost has been approximately $3,800, but costs can vary widely depending on each home’s unique circumstances.

“The Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank has been an invaluable partner in Providence Water’s work to
mitigate lead in drinking water in customer homes due to the prevalence of lead pipes, fixtures, and soldered plumbing connections common in older homes built before 1947,” said Ricky Caruolo, Providence Water’s General Manager. “Thanks to this new $3 million round of funding, we will be able to help even more Providence Water residential customers replace their homes’ private side lead service lines and do so in a way that is more affordable and convenient.”

“Providence Water is committed to providing our customers with safe and reliable drinking water, and that means helping our customers address private side lead service lines in their homes,” said Xaykham Khamsyvoravong, Chairman of the Providence Water Supply Board. “This partnership with the Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank is allowing us to offer our customers an affordable way to replace their lead service lines.”

“The Infrastructure Bank is pleased to continue its support of Providence Water, and its customers, by providing interest-free capital to fund its important lead service line replacement program,” said Jeffrey R. Diehl, Executive Director and CEO of Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank. “The program has been a cost-effective option to help homeowners accelerate the replacement of their lead drinking-water service lines, and in doing so, protect public health.”

The loan is the latest expansion of Providence Water’s award-winning lead mitigation program.  In 2019, Providence Water was honored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency with a Drinking Water State Revolving Fund AQUARIUS Recognition for “lead service line and water main replacements.” This work and recognition would not have been possible without Providence Water’s strong partnership with RIIB to finance efforts such as the zero percent interest loan program for customers to replace private side lead service lines.

Information about lead and drinking water, free lead testing kits, a lead service location map, and applying for the zero percent interest, ten-year loan program for private side lead service line replacements are available on Providence Water’s website at provwater.com/lead.