October 18, 2016 (FLINT, Mich) — The second phase of Mayor Karen Weaver’s FAST Start initiative wrapped up today, with crews replacing lead-tainted service lines at 218 homes over the past six weeks.
Crews from three area companies finished replacing lead and galvanized steel service lines leading from the street to the water meter in residents’ homes during this second phase of the FAST Start initiative, extending the Mayor’s efforts to restore safe, clean drinking water to Flint residents. Three service lines were also cut and capped at abandoned homes in the city.
“We’re so pleased that Flint residents in 218 more homes can feel more confident about the safety of their water now that lead-tainted pipes have been replaced with new copper pipes,” Weaver said. “We’re on track to soon begin the next phase of FAST Start and replace service lines at hundreds more homes this fall.”
Flint City Council members recently approved awarding the contracts for the next phase of the FAST Start initiative, in which 788 additional homes will get pipe replacements. Once the work is complete the total number of homes that will have received new service lines through FAST Start will increase to more than 1,000. The final step required before Phase 3 can begin is approval from the Receivership Transition Advisory Board.
Mayor Weaver launched the FAST Start initiative to help resolve a number of problems created after a state-appointed emergency manager switched the city’s water source to the Flint River in 2014 without the necessary corrosion control chemicals being added. The corrosive water removed a protective coating on the inside of the pipes, causing lead to leach into the water flowing to homes and businesses in the City of Flint.
While the level of lead in Flint’s water supply has been significantly reduced since the city switched back a year ago to water delivered from Lake Huron by the Great Lakes Water Authority, residents are still being urged to drink only filtered water, and to replace their filters when needed.
During the first phase of FAST Start earlier this year, service pipes to 33 homes were replaced, and lines to six more homes were replaced through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. At the completion of phase two, work crews have replaced service lines or capped lines at 260 homes in Flint.