Detroit Evening Report: Detroit spending $10M to replace 5K lead pipes in 2023

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The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department plans to spend $10 million to replace 5,000 lead water pipes this year, with a goal to double that number in 2024.

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Department director Gary Brown and Mayor Mike Duggan announced efforts today to accelerate the replacement of lead service lines throughout the city. They’ll concentrate on Census tracts with higher child and senior population density, lower incomes and older houses.

“I can tell you not only does our water taste good, but it is first class water. We’re not here today because there’s a problem,” says Brown. “You’ve seen problems in New Jersey or problems in Benton Harbor where EPA has had to helicopter in and fix the problem. We don’t have a problem with the water right now.”

“The lead service lines in this country are in the older cities. They tend to be the lower income cities,” Duggan said in a statement. “And so when it comes time to replace them, the people who need the most help have the least ability to bear the cost. And you’ve seen way too many cities defer their obligation until it was too late.”

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  • Sascha Raiyn
    Sascha Raiyn is Education Reporter at 101.9 WDET. She is a native Detroiter who grew up listening to news and music programming on Detroit Public Radio.