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City Deemed Eligible for Grants, Loans for Lead Pipe Line Replacements

Mayor Yvonne Flowers has announced the city is eligible for $3.2 million in grants and more than $8 million in interest-free loans to start lead service line replacement projects.

The city has about 5,080 residential lead water service lines and is seeking various financial sources to replace them, with an estimated total cost of more than $100 million. 

“We know we can’t fix this problem overnight, but the city is moving aggressively to obtain funds to replace these lead pipes, and I thank our city staff, especially our Finance and Engineering Departments, for doing the hard work of compiling data and completing these applications to move us in the right direction,” said Mayor Flowers. 

Though no amount of lead exposure is considered safe, the Environmental Protection Agency established regulations that mandate communities must take action if certain lead content levels are exceeded. 

In 1997, the city initiated treatment to substantially reduce corrosion in lead pipes. Ninety percent of the customers tested in 2022 had a lead content of the city’s water of 1.8 parts per billion. The highest test result was 8.4 parts per billion, which is below the 15 parts per billion threshold set by the EPA.

To date, the city has received about $544,000 to replace lead pipe lines and has completed 23 projects involving day care facilities and residences where young children and immune system compromised residents live. You can read more about those projects here.

Mayor Flowers thanked Congressman Pat Ryan “for inviting state and federal Environmental Protection Agency representatives and state Health Department officials to meet with us to discuss funding sources and what is needed to be eligible for lead pipe replacement grants. We recognize the significant costs it will take to replace all lead service lines in our city, and we will explore all grant opportunities to help reduce the cost burden on our city residents.”

Read more here.

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