With the exception of fuel, equipment wear and tear, brass and copper pipe the only additional cost was the rental of a mini excavator. We budget for one every few years so some years we rent one and some years we don’t. The maintenance team we have either removing lead lines or other maintenance tasks. We managed to perform all work necessary even with the lead line removal initiative. (See Replacing Lead Water Service Lines in Massachusetts at www.bu.edu/rccp, p.5).
Maybe not every water department has the same situation as Sioux Falls. But even when the costs of replacement are high, the value of taking action far exceeds them. On March 5 the Environmental Defense Fund’s Chemicals Policy Director Tom Neltner reported that Minnesota’s Department of Health found that just “the societal benefits from avoiding the loss of IQ points due to children’s exposure to lead” were worth ten times the costs of removing lead service lines (http://blogs.edf.org/health/).