With new proposal, lead pipe removal could happen across Michiga - WNEM TV 5

With new proposal, lead pipe removal could happen across Michigan

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)

In Flint, some residents are seeing lead pipes being dug up and replaced outside of their homes.

But what about the rest of Michigan? In the Tri-Cities, there may still be lead pipes under the ground.

Jim Koski is a member of Gov. Rick Snyder's interagency committee, and also the former Saginaw County public works commissioner.

“The challenge is to identify where the problems are. And then of course, set up a procedure and way of doing it,” Koski said.

Koski said Snyder’s reform is a good step, but there's a lot of work to be done to remove all lead service lines in Michigan.

“This is one of those things that's something positive. Somewhere that has no idea, it could save a lot of problems, all because Flint is going through it,” Koski said.

But every city water system would need a plan, to test, locate and remove those pipes.

And a plan like this takes time and money.

“They would face an economic problems, of course, however, having people poisoned with lead, we've found that's a worst case scenario,” Koski said.

The good news, Koski said, is in Saginaw, many of the older buildings have been revitalized. And when that happens, typically the lead service lines are removed.

Right now, every city is at a different step in removing lead pipes.

But if this proposal passes, pipe removal could start across the state.

“This is a problem we can solve, and we're setting it as a priority,” Koski said.

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