The City of Kalamazoo is planning on working quickly to replace lead water lines.

MLive reports that at this time, almost 3,000 lead service lines have been identified in the city, and there are still around 7,300 lines that the city doesn’t know the material of. The majority of homes that are connected to the water main with lead pipes are on the city’s older east side, and out of those unidentified pipes, it’s estimated that at least 30% of them are lead.

Even though Kalamazoo doesn’t have any detectable lead in its drinking water at the source, and only two percent of homes tested had lead levels above the federal action level of 15 ppb. The Flint Water Crisis, however, has spurred the city on to replace these pipes before things get worse.

MLive says that if they increase the number of lead services lines replaced per year - from 120 to around 474 - the project would take around 10 years to complete, with a total cost of almost $17 million. They came to these numbers, assuming that 25% of the unidentified pipes are made of lead. The cost would be much higher if more pipes are determined to be lead. 



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