Water utility plans lead-pipe removal
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.