Flint Selects Copper Piping to Solve Drinking Water Infrastructure Crisis

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Copper to replace Flint’s lead and lead-tainted galvanized iron service lines

Mayor Karen Weaver and FAST Start Coordinator Michael C. McDaniel told hundreds of participants attending the Flint Water Infrastructure Summit this week that copper pipe will be used to replace the City of Flint’s entire lead and lead-tainted galvanized iron service lines.

“We chose copper because the residents of Flint deserve a high quality engineered material that has a history of safely conveying drinking water,” Weaver said. “With copper, we know we’re getting a long-term solution.”

McDaniel said that the decision was made after a number of factors were considered, especially the longevity of the piping and the lifetime cost of the product.

“This was a very important decision that will affect many generations to come,” McDaniel said. “My team and I conducted months of research and engaged in conversation with piping experts regarding the ideal lead replacement material for superior performance.”

The City concluded that copper was the best material for the replacement pipes because it’s durable, reliable and long-lasting. Copper piping is also impermeable, so outside chemicals such as petroleum products spilled on nearby streets or insecticides and fertilizers spread on yards can’t contaminate the water system.

Following the City’s determination, the copper industry banded together to help Flint acquire nearly 200,000 feet of copper piping, at a savings of approximately $1 million to the City, for the next phase of the FAST Start program, due to start in April.

“The copper industry will continue to provide technical guidance and educational resources wherever needed to ensure that copper piping is designed, installed and operated properly every step of the way,” said Andrew G. Kireta, Jr. of the Copper Development Association (CDA). “We are committed to helping America rebuild its aging water infrastructure.”

CDA exhibited at the Flint Water Infrastructure Summit and was selected as a speaker for the Water Infrastructure 101 Workshop. Kireta gave two, 20-minute presentations on “Why Copper is the Right Choice” for lead service line replacements and hosted an open forum to interact with attendees on questions related to this topic.

For more information about copper piping, visit www.copperservicelines.org.

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