Pipe replacement in Flint hits another road block - WNEM TV 5

Pipe replacement in Flint hits another road block

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)
FLINT, MI (WNEM) -

Work is dragging on to replace pipes seeping lead into Flint's drinking water.

The city has replaced 80 pipes so far, but the mayor said the Fast Start Initiative could be getting another slow down.

Mayor Karen Weaver said they need more money and she is willing to go to the nation's Capitol to get it.

"We know we need more funding than what we currently have. And we need this funding to still come from the state and federal government. We are still holding them accountable to get us this money," Weaver said.

Weaver said the money is the only thing that is holding them back from replacing more lead service lines.

She said she will make another trip to Washington this week to plead with the Michigan delegation for more support.

In the meantime, progress is being made slowly by surely.

"It's been nice. The residents are excited about what's going on and they are happy about it. It's given them a sense of hope," Weaver said.

However, not everyone in Flint shares Weaver's enthusiasm.

"It's way too long and not only that, people should have been sent to prison. I'd have to go. Right is right and wrong is wrong," said Stacey Robinson, resident.

The leader of the Fast Start program said he doesn't know how long it will take to replace all of the lead pipes.

"Right now we have approximately $27 million. With that amount of money we hope we can do 5,200 lines," Michael McDaniel said.

He said that's only a portion of the pipes that need to be replaced. His goal is to have crews replace 10 to 15 lines per day.

Weaver said the second phase of the initiative is almost complete, which will have replaced between 200 and 250 lead service lines.

The city said it hopes to start phase three in the fall, which would start work on an additional 5,000 pipes. However, if more money doesn't come through it could be another long wait.

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