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Flint's next round of pipe replacements moves into high gear

steve carmody
Michigan Radio

The next phase of Flint’s lead pipe replacement gets underway this weekend.

To date, slightly more than 850 service lines have been replaced, as part of the city’s response to pipes leaching lead into Flint’s drinking water.

The goal this year is 6,000.  

“With more work crews in the field starting next week, service lines to 900 homes will be replaced each month, so we’ll really start making progress,” says Flint Mayor Karen Weaver. 

On Saturday, AARP volunteers are knocking on doors, trying to get homeowners and residents to sign forms authorizing contractors to rip out lead and galvanized service lines, and replace them with copper pipes.

“Last fall, AARP volunteers visited more than 500 homes to collect consent cards,” says AARP State Director Paula Cunningham.  “This weekend, we’ll be picking up where we let off, with plans to knock on doors or reach residents by mail at 6,000 homes through May and June.”

It’s expected it will take three years to replace all of Flint’s suspect service lines.

“The pace of service line replacements will be much faster,” says  Michael McDaniel, who’s coordinating the FAST Start initiative. “Residents in affected neighborhoods will see FAST Start yard signs going up when crews are coming to their neighborhoods, and can get more information on the City of Flint FAST Start Facebook page, and FAST Start’s Twitter and Instagram accounts.”

The work is being partly paid for with money from the federal government. 

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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