Kalamazoo accelerates removal of remaining lead water pipes

Jan 16, 2017

Lead water pipes remain a concern in cities across Michigan.  Kalamazoo is now increasing its efforts to modify water infrastructure.

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) — The city of Kalamazoo has been accelerating the removal of remaining lead water pipes in the community since Flint's crisis with lead-tainted water emerged.

The Kalamazoo Gazette reports Kalamazoo started removing lead service lines in 1992 and this month crews are replacing some lines in anticipation of a repaving project.

There's no detectable lead in the city's water supply system when it leaves pumping stations, but small amounts of lead can dissolve into drinking water. The city replaced 120 lead service lines in 2016 and a recent report found at least 2,917 still remain.

Most of the service lines in Kalamazoo's water system are copper, brass, galvanized or other materials. They hook up to water mains.

Funds for lead line removals are budgeted in the Water Capital Improvement Program.