Update on Effort to Replace Lead-Tainted Pipes in Flint as Part of Mayor Weaver’s FAST Start Initiative

September 9, 2016 (FLINT, Mich) ― It has been a productive second week of work since the second phase of the FAST Start initiative got underway. Crews from three area companies are now working to remove and replace lead-tainted pipes with copper pipes at homes around Flint.

As of Friday morning, another 38 homes have had their water service lines replaced in this phase of FAST Start. That includes 11 homes on Trumball Avenue on Flint’s northwest side, 13 homes on Arizona Ave. and Colorado Ave. on the east side, and 14 homes on Durand and Becker Streets on the southwest side of Flint. Today, crews are out working to replace pipes at an additional nine homes.

“Fourty-seven lines completed in nine workdays is great progress,” said Brigadier General Michael McDaniel, manager of the FAST Start project. “It took us over 30 days to do 33 lines in the state’s initial pilot. Our goal is to replace 10 to 12 lines a day so that we complete this phase by the end of the month.”

Overall, this phase of the pipe replacement initiative will result in lead and galvanized steel service lines at 200-250 homes being replaced to restore safe, clean drinking water to Flint residents. Mayor Weaver launched the effort to help resolve a number of problems created after a state-appointed emergency manager switched the City’s water source in 2014 to the Flint River, 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. 

Leaders of FAST Start refer to the current phase as the “City’s pilot study”.

“One of our goals in the City’s pilot study is to do an analysis of the cost to replace the water service lines,” said McDaniel. “We know what our estimated cost is per home, but with other groups reporting different numbers we feel this is an important step to help determine the most logical and efficient way to proceed as we move forward towards the Mayor’s goal of replacing all the lead-tainted pipes in Flint.”

This week City leaders issued another three Request for Proposals (RFP) for the replacement of the next 1,030 lead-tainted pipes. Contractors can view the RFP on the City’s website and use the guidelines provided to create and submit their bid for work to join the effort to get the lead out of Flint.