22% of Flint excavations have led to copper pipes
FLINT, MICH. About 22 per cent of excavations tied to Flint’s leadtainted water crisis have led to copper pipes that do not pose a threat of leaching lead, city records show.
Flint Action and Sustainability Team project co-ordinator Michael McDaniel called the 22 per cent a “failure rate” because crews shouldn’t have to spend time excavating areas that aren’t problematic, according to the Flint Journal, which obtained the records.
“To cut down on the number of times our pipe replacement crews are finding copper pipes, we plan to check the service lines at 4,000 homes with hydro-excavation trucks,” McDaniel said in a statement. “The trucks use pressurized water to dig two small holes down to the service line to determine its composition, enabling pipe replacement crews to skip homes where copper pipes are found.”
Flint is replacing old water service lines that leached lead into homes and businesses because the city for 18 months did not properly treat the water to reduce corrosion. Lead leaching from old pipes and fixtures caused elevated levels in children and left residents to drink and bathe with bottled or filtered water.
McDaniel said two companies have been awarded a sum of US$1.2 million in hydro-excavation contracts and will begin work as soon as the Receivership Transition Advisory Board for Flint approves the contracts. The city plans to replace 6,000 service lines this year.