GCWW Leads the Way for the State of Ohio in Lead Service Line Replacement for Child Care Facilities

Jan 20, 2021

In September of 2020, Greater Cincinnati Water Works (GCWW) announced it had been awarded $725,000 in state funding as part of Governor DeWine’s H2Ohio Initiative to replace lead service lines in licensed child care facilities within the utility’s service area.

GCWW is pleased to announce that the first lead service line will be replaced at Cozy Care Nursery School & Childcare, located in Cincinnati’s Walnut Hills neighborhood. The owner of Cozy Care Nursery School & Childcare is thrilled and excited to be the first grant recipient.

PHOTO OPPORTUNITY: Thursday, January 21 at approximately between 10:45-11:15 am
Cozy Care Nursery School & Childcare, 3054 Mentor Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45206

The grant was announced by Governor Mike DeWine and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) on September 3, 2020. The funding comes from the H2Ohio initiative, which was approved by the General Assembly to ensure clean, safe drinking water throughout the state. GCWW is one of the first water systems chosen to work with the State of Ohio in the program’s initial phase. Because GCWW had a fully-developed Lead Service Line Replacement Program (LSLRP) to assist property owners with replacing their private lead service lines, the utility was able to easily facilitate the use of the grant proceeds to assist licensed child care facilities in the GCWW service area. The grant covers 100% of the cost of the replacement on facility properties.

“Addressing lead service lines is not only a key goal under the H2Ohio initiative, but it’s also part of the Governor DeWine’s overall commitment to the health and well-being of Ohioans,” said Ohio EPA Director Laurie A. Stevenson. “Ohio EPA celebrates today with the city of Cincinnati as the first child care facility has its lead service line replaced as part of H2Ohio.”

GCWW and the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) records indicate there are 185 licensed child care facilities in the GCWW service area. Of those facilities, 64 have already committed to participating in the grant program. 

“We are excited to provide no-cost lead service line replacements to child care providers as part of our collaboration with Ohio EPA,” said Cathy B. Bailey, Executive Director for Greater Cincinnati Water Works. “This grant helps to accelerate our efforts of protecting infants and small children who are the most vulnerable to the effects of lead poisoning.”

Application Process

Any ODJFS licensed child care center with a lead service line in GCWW’s service area is eligible to have a lead line removed at no cost to them. Grant funding is available to providers who rent or own the facility. GCWW encourages licensed child care providers to call 513.651.5323 or email childcaregrant@gcww.cincinnati-oh.gov for more information and application details.

GCWW strongly encourages all licensed child care facility owners to check the material of the water service line via GCWW’s online Lead Lookup Map and by visual inspection. GCWW also offers free drinking water lead testing and recommends all child care providers have their facility’s water tested regardless of service line material. Please go to Lead.mygcww.org for further information or call 513.651.LEAD to speak to a representative.


Lead is a toxic metal that can be harmful to human health even at low exposure levels. Lead is persistent and can accumulate in the body over time. Young children, infants, and fetuses are particularly vulnerable to lead because the physical and behavioral effects of lead occur at lower exposure levels in children than in adults.

In children, lead exposure has been linked to damage of the central and peripheral nervous system, learning disabilities, shorter stature, impaired hearing, and impaired formation and function of blood cells. In adults, lead exposure has been linked to increased blood pressure and hypertension, decreased kidney function, and reproductive problems in both men and women.

The GCWW Enhanced Lead Program uses a two-tiered approach -- including increased public outreach and education, along with a cost-sharing program to assist all customers with lead service line replacement. GCWW also offers free lead testing kits to customers, along with water filters to qualifying households.

More information can be found at Lead.myGCWW.org or by calling 513.651.LEAD.


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