Mar 04, 2020

Michigan City to Replace Lead Service Lines

Bay City, Michigan is working to remove all lead service lines

drinking water

Bay City, Michigan officials are sending letters to residents regarding the city's long-term plan to replace all lead water lines.

The lead service lines run from the city's water mains into homes and businesses.

According to Robert Dion, the city's director of public works, around 3,000 letters were sent out last week with another 3,000 being sent out this week.

"We have been mandated by EGLE to take this on," said Dion.

These replacements are required by the Lead and Copper Rule and is part of the state's Safe Drinking Water Act.

There are a total of 14,234 water service customers in Bay City, according to city officials. More than 5,000 lead water services have been identified and the city has identified 597 galvanized pipes, reported ABC12.

It is estimated that it will cost the city between $24 and $30 million to replace all of the lead water lines. The city has been looking for grants and loans to help offset some of the cost. According to Dion, the city is using money from its own budget, has taken out a loan, and is charging city residents a monthly $2 lead abatement fee. 

"It's very hard for a municipality that is short on cash, short on personnel to try and come up with this kind of money to try do these kind of lead replacements," Dion said.

"We have 20 years to do this," Dion said. "We are very aggressive at this. We want to be as aggressive as financially we can."

Some residents are concerned about the time frame to get these replacements done, however.

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