Wa­ter util­ity plans lead-pipe re­moval

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - ARKANSAS - CHELSEA BOOZER

Central Arkansas Wa­ter will re­place all of its lead ser­vice pipes this year.

After the wa­ter cri­sis in Flint, Mich., the Lit­tle Rock­based wa­ter util­ity checked to see if it still had any lead ser­vice lines. So far, it has found about 140.

There are still about 3,000 lines to in­spect, and the util­ity is es­ti­mat­ing that it will have to re­place up to 250 lead lines.

“Other cities are looking at tens of thou­sands of th­ese lines,” util­ity Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer Tad Bo­han­non said.

“Detroit has 100,000 — [that’s] a fig­ure I heard ear­lier to­day.”

Central Arkansas Wa­ter tests its wa­ter reg­u­larly and has never re­ported lead or copper lev­els that aren’t in com­pli­ance with the En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Agency’s lead and copper rules. Some of the places where lead lines were found are also places where wa­ter sam­ples are taken.

“The [Arkansas] Health De­part­ment doesn’t re­quire us to go in and re­place th­ese lines,” Bo­han­non said. “We’re just try­ing to be proac­tive be­cause we want to main­tain that cus­tomer con­fi­dence in the wa­ter we are pro­vid­ing to them.”

Any cus­tomer whose ser­vices lines will be re­placed will re­ceive a let­ter and phone call or visit from a util­ity rep­re­sen­ta­tive. After re­plac­ing the ser­vice line, the util­ity will flush out the pipes and then test the wa­ter monthly for three months.

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