August 31, 2016 (Flint, Mich)– Construction crews were out early today as they resumed digging and replacing lead-tainted pipes at homes in the City of Flint as part of Mayor Karen Weaver’s FAST Start initiative.
Workers from W.T. Stevens Construction Inc. and Johnson & Wood worked throughout the day replacing lead-tainted pipes at homes on Arizona Ave. and Durand St. in Flint starting Wednesday morning. Workers from a third contractor, Goyette Mechanical Inc. are set to begin replacing pipes at Flint homes Tuesday of next week. Mayor Weaver stopped by there homes were work was taking place to thank the crews for their help and see the progress firsthand.
“I am excited to see crews out working once again helping to get the lead out of Flint and restore safe clean drinking water to residents,” said Mayor Weaver. “From this point on we hope to have crews out almost daily in effort to replace 200 to 250 lead-tainted service lines over the next month.”
The FAST Start plan includes the removal of service lines made of lead and galvanized steel, as both types appear to be contributing to the lead contamination in Flint’s water supply. Prior to digging, teams have been working to inform homeowners of the project and scheduled work, obtain their consent, notify MISS DIG and other agencies, conduct water sampling at the homes (which is being done before and after each pipe is replaced), and confirm the composition of the pipes. Neighbors have also been informed that they may see some changes in their water once the work is complete, and they may need to run the water for a short period of time to flush the pipes.
This phase of the FAST Start initiative is being paid for with $2 million from the State of Michigan, money the state reimbursed the city for what it paid to return to the Detroit drinking water system after it was discovered that improperly treated water from the Flint River was corroding pipes and releasing lead into Flint’s drinking water system. State officials have appropriated $25 million which will be used to replace an estimated 5,000 lead-tainted pipes in the next phase of the program once this phase is complete.