Crews in second phase of pipe replacements for Flint

Candice Williams
The Detroit News

Crews are in the second phase of replacing lead-tainted pipes with copper ones at homes in Flint in the city’s replacement effort to ensure clean drinking water for residents, officials said.

As of Friday morning, 38 homes in the city had their water service lines replaced during the second phase of Mayor Karen Weaver’s FAST Start initiative. By the end of the day, another nine homes were expected to have new pipes.

“Fourty-seven lines completed in nine workdays is great progress,” said Brig. Gen. Michael McDaniel, manager of the FAST Start project, in a release Friday. “It took us over 30 days to do 33 lines in the state’s initial pilot.”

The latest phase of the pipe replacement project involves using three local firms to replace lead and galvanized steel service lines in 200 to 250 homes. It is being funded with $2 million from the state. Another $25 million in state funds will replace 5,000 more pipes, officials said.

McDaniel said the goal is to replace 10-12 lines a day in order to complete the current phase by the end of the month.

Homes receiving new pipes were on Trumball, Arizona and Colorado avenues, and Durand and Becker streets.

Weaver launched the initiative to help resolve issues of lead-tainted water that occurred while the city was under state financial control in 2014. The city switched its water source to the Flint River from Detroit’s system without officials treating the water with corrosion control chemicals. The lack of chemicals resulted in lead leaching from pipes into the homes. As a result, some Flint children showed high lead levels in their blood.

The city issued another three requests for proposals to replace another 1,030 pipes.

“We know what our estimated cost is per home, but with other groups reporting different numbers, we feel this is an important step to help determine the most logical and efficient way to proceed as we move forward towards the mayor’s goal of replacing all the lead-tainted pipes in Flint,” McDaniel said.


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