22% of Flint ex­ca­va­tions have led to cop­per pipes

Windsor Star - - CITY + REGION - The As­so­ci­ated Press

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.

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