FLINT, Mich. — Lead-tainted service lines at 253 homes have been replaced so far in Phase 4 of Mayor Karen Weaver’s FAST Start initiative, which plans to replace lead-tainted pipes at 6,000 Flint homes in 2017.
Crews from four area companies are replacing lead and galvanized service lines leading from the street to the water meter in residents’ homes during this fourth phase of the FAST Start initiative, extending the mayor’s efforts to restore safe, clean drinking water to Flint residents. Overall, service lines to 1,139 homes have been replaced since FAST Start began in March 2016.
In addition, 256 homes have been found to have copper service lines that did not need to be replaced. The FAST Start initiative plans to begin checking the composition of 4,000 service lines through hydro-excavation in June so that pipe replacement crews can avoid digging up copper service lines and concentrate just on homes with lead and galvanized pipes.
To be eligible for the service line replacements, residents must have an active water account. They also must have signed a consent card giving permission for the work to be done. In rental homes, both the owner and the tenant must sign consent cards. Residents are urged to sign the consent cards as soon as possible so crews can begin work to replace their service lines.
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 reduced significantly since the City switched back a year ago to water delivered from Lake Huron by the Great Lakes Water Authority, residents are still urged to drink only filtered water, and to replace their filters when needed.
Mayor Weaver hopes to have all of Flint’s lead-tainted service lines — nearly 20,000 — replaced by 2020, with a goal of replacing 6,000 lines annually over the next three years.
Information about the FAST Start initiative can be found on the City of Flint FAST Start Facebook page, as well as on Instagram, Twitter and on the City of Flint website. Questions about FAST Start can be directed to the FAST Start office by emailing [email protected] or by calling (810) 410-1133.