Detroit Evening Report: Detroit to speed up lead service line replacement thanks to $100 million fund

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Detroit Water and Sewerage Department officials said they will speed up the replacement of about 80,000 lead service lines thanks to a $100 million fund from state and federal grants.

The Detroit News reports the lines will be replaced at no additional cost to customers, according to DWSD Director Gary Brown. He also said the fund will enable the department to replace lead service lines faster, from about 700 a year to at least 5,000 annually for the next three years.

“While there is no evidence to suggest lead service lines are a contributor to elevated blood lead levels in Detroit, they do pose a risk,” Brown said. “With an existing and robust lead service line replacement program, we have the ability to dramatically accelerate our work based on this new funding.

The largest amount, $75 million, is from the American Rescue Plan Act funds through the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy. The city water department says the replacement lines will  cost more than $10,000 per house for the required work.

“We thank our federal and state partners for providing the bulk of the funding,” said Brown.

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  • Tia Graham
    Tia Graham is a reporter and Weekend Edition Host for 101.9 WDET. She graduated from Michigan State University where she had the unique privilege of covering former President Barack Obama and his trip to Lansing in 2014.