Curious how a water utility goes from no information about their laterals to a service line inventory? That’s the story shared by Michelle Smith, Director of Water Quality for South Bend Utilities, about the LSL Inventory program. Michelle shared her perspective in an article in a Water Finance & Management special report on Future-Proofing Water Utilities and Infrastructure.
Because the utility did not own any part of the service line, they started with very little information. They turned to BlueConduit for help with predicting the service line materials. Read the full article Addressing Water Quality in South Bend: Lessons Learned in Reinforcing Public Trust at the Water Finance & Management site.
South Bend Utilities LSL Inventory Lessons Learned
In the article, Michelle shares some of the lessons learned in their Lead Service Line Inventory Program.
“First, our advice is to get started as early as possible. Likewise, make sure that you know what funding opportunities are out there. When the opportunity arises, when funds are available, know what you have to do to actually qualify for those and be prepared.”Michelle Smith, the Director of Water Quality for South Bend Utilities quoted in the Special Report
Lastly, but most importantly, Michelle advises prioritizing communication.
“Keep in mind how important it is that you communicate well with your residents. Make sure you’re reaching your residents. [In South Bend] it’s been difficult, getting people to participate in lead testing, because people aren’t concerned” or don’t understand the nuances of the issue, or the steps they can take to support these efforts.”Michelle Smith quoted in the Special Report
South Bend Utilities began to work with BlueConduit in 2022.
“There were a few options when we embarked on this, but only BlueConduit was able to prove that their method worked and published it. That was big for us. But it was also working with them that was just better.”Michelle Smith, the Director of Water Quality for the South Bend Utilities quoted in the Special Report
We’re proud to be part of South Bend’s comprehensive Lead and Copper Rule compliance solution.
You can download the full special report, including the South Bend case study, from Water Finance and Management’s site. The article on South Bend was written by Roxcee Stacker, Director of Customer Success for BlueConduit.
Learn more about predictive modeling for lead service line inventories.