A new conference was held in Flint, Mich., to address ongoing pipe replacement in the city
Flint Mayor Karen Weaver is advising Flint resident to continue drinking bottled water and use water filters. A news conference was held on Dec. 4 at Flint City Hall to address the ongoing pipe replacements in the city. According to MLive, the work will continue into the summer of 2019.
“The water is testing better, but with the construction in the city, we don’t want to risk shaking a lead pipe loose,” Weaver said to a reporter at the event.
At the conference she announced the city has excavated more than 18,300 service lines since the beginning of the FAST Start program in March of 2016. The goal of the program was to have all 18,000 tainted service lines replaced by 2020, according to Click On Detroit.
Since the initiative began, crews from different area companies have completed excavation at 18,313 homes, according to the mayor’s office. 9,480 homes have been checked as of April 2018. According to MLive, 7,707 homes were identified as having lead and/or galvanized lines and replaced, including 1,479 in 2018. About 84% of FAST Start’s excavations in 2018 have found copper to copper pipes and 16% of digs found hazardous service lines. The hit rate for find and replacing lead service lines last year was 80%, according to MLive.
An additional 12,000 pipes still need to be replaced, according to Click On Detroit. They would like to be done replacing the pipes by July 2019, Weaver said.
“We’re not finished, so I don’t want anybody to be confused about that,” Mayor Weaver said during the conference.
According to Weaver, the excavations were targets as part of a lawsuit settlement by groups including Concerned Pastors for Social Action and Natural Resources Defense Council demanding funds to search for lead and galvanized steel pipes. Pastor Allen Overton of the group believes more work needs to be done.
“The City needs to finish the job of finding and replacing the lead pipes in Flint, as our agreement demands that they do,” Overton said to MLive.
Flint is required to find and replace a minimum of 6,000 lead or galvanized service lines per year, according to MLive. Mayor Weaver said the city had met that goal one year ahead of time.