McLean, Va. — The days of lead service line contamination are steadily coming to an end in Flint, Michigan. The city is on schedule to complete its lead replacement program by 2020 using new copper piping. To highlight the progress, the Copper Development Association (CDA) released a new video that showcases how the city is bringing clean, safe water back to its residents.
After switching its water source to the Flint River in 2014, the city’s lead pipes were rapidly eroded by the highly corrosive water, causing a massive lead contamination and public health crisis. Ultimately, the city chose to rectify the situation by installing new copper piping, which will provide a long-term solution.
“There’s a big difference between lead reduction and lead elimination,” said CDA’s Vice President Andrew Kireta Jr. “Filters are a short-term option to reduce lead, but the only way to truly eradicate lead contamination is to completely remove all lead piping. CDA is proud to stand alongside Flint, and other communities, as they work to restore their water quality and security.”
As our nation’s system of water infrastructure continues to age, lead contamination only becomes a greater threat. In fact, the American Society of Civil Engineers recently gave the nation’s drinking water infrastructure a “D” on its quadrennial report card. There’s an estimated 3.3 to 10 million lead pipes still active across the country; municipalities should act proactively to prevent another lead crisis.
“The assistance from the Copper Development Association was invaluable to the city of Flint,” said General Michael McDaniel, former head of the Flint Action and Sustainability Team (FAST START). “When they assisted us in acquiring some copper piping that was the point in time I think that residents of the city truly realized that the city was committed to replacing all the service lines in the city.”
CDA is dedicated to helping municipalities combat lead contamination issues by serving as a key knowledge center on the proper design and installation of copper piping. For more information about copper piping, visit www.copperservicelines.org.