Kalamazoo using grant to remove lead pipes

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — The Flint water crisis made everyone painfully aware of just how dangerous lead pipes are. In Kalamazoo, workers were busy replacing lead pipes even before Flint made local and national headlines. 

Steve Skalski is Kalamazoo’s assistant city engineer. He says the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality awarded the City of Kalamazoo a $1 million grant.

“It’s pretty significant,” he said.

The money will be spent to identify and remove lead pipes.

“It’s a lot of money to spend on services,” said Skalski.

That’s because the city’s entire yearly lead pipe budget is $2.5 million. Now, the city has more money that will pay to replace an additional 150 lead service lines.

“I think we have 46,000 services total in the system, of which 2,700 are lead services,” Skalski explained.

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