City has worked to remove lead pipes for 15 years - WNEM TV 5

City has worked to remove lead pipes for 15 years

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Source:WNEM Source:WNEM

Flint's water crisis has many local cities taking a closer look at their own lead pipes.

But some cities, like Bay City, have been removing lead pipes from underground for more than a decade with costs in the tens of millions.

Flint and Bay City have many financial similarities – they’re both hurting for cash and are contending with aging infrastructure.

But for the past 15 years, Bay City has been removing lead from its thousands of miles of pipes underground.

 “We've got two thirds of them gone,” said Bay City’s manager, Rick Finn.

Finn said the city has been removing old lead pipes for the past 15 years.

“As were going through and doing street repairs and repaving type of thing, that's the time to do it because they're in the street,” Finn said.

Finn said thanks to some very careful budgeting and planning over the years, he is proud to say residents have clean drinking water.

“We do ongoing tests for the lead and our numbers have been always very positive,” Finn said.

Coonan’s Irish Pub is owned by Bay County Commissioner Kim Coonan.

“Bay City does not have a problem with water. Our water is magnificent,” Coonan said.

Coonan said Bay City has been able to keep its water free of lead with forward thinking he said did not happen in Flint.

“Bay City doesn’t have any money like Flint doesn’t have any money, because of the economy and they're digging up lines and replacing them,” Coonan said. “Now that's good forward thinking.”

Moving forward, Finn said he'd like to see the state step in and help more than just Flint, in order to avoid another potential health crisis.

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