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Lansing's last lead service line being replaced this week

mark brush
Michigan Radio

The city of Lansing will reach a major milestone this week when crews replace the capitol city’s last remaining lead service line. The last lead line is scheduled to be replaced on Wednesday.

Service lines connect homes and businesses to city water mains.

A decade before Flint’s lead tainted tap water became a national scandal, utility crews in Lansing started replacing aging lead service lines.

Board of Water & Light General Manager Dick Peffley says since 2004 they have replaced nearly 15,000 service lines, more than 12,000 of them lead lines, at a cost of $44.5 million.

He says BWL has received lots of calls since the Flint water crisis drew national attention to the problem of how to remove aging lead service lines.

“Oh the phone early on in the year was ringing off the hook. Now it’s slowed a little bit,” says Peffley.  BWL did provide some technical assistance to the city of Flint as it tries to replace more than 30,000 service lines.   

Peffley says BWL will now shift its long-term infrastructure efforts to Lansing’s 880 miles of water mains.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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