FLINT, Mich. — Lead-tainted service lines at 346 homes have been replaced so far as part of Mayor Karen Weaver’s FAST Start initiative, with 51 homes getting new copper pipes last week.
Crews from two area companies are replacing lead and galvanized steel service lines leading from the street to the water meter in residents’ homes during this third phase of the FAST Start initiative, extending the mayor’s efforts to restore safe, clean drinking water to Flint residents. A total of 788 homes are set to get new pipes this fall.
“Work is progressing well, but we still want to make sure residents in neighborhoods set to get new pipes are signing the required consent cards,” said retired Brigadier General Michael McDaniel, who’s overseeing the FAST Start initiative. “With nearly 100 homes done in Phase 3 so far, I want to commend the crews whose work is giving more residents clean, safe drinking water.”
Work crews plan to replace service pipes this week at homes on Copeman Boulevard and Begole Street between Forest Hill Avenue and Ballenger Highway; on Maryland Avenue between Lewis Street and Dort Highway; and on Downey Street between Miller Road and Corunna Road.
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 substantially 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. So far, a total of 352 residences have gotten new service lines and three abandoned homes have had their lines capped. Mayor Weaver’s goal is to have residents in 1,000 homes receive new service lines by the end of the year.