In the wake of the Flint, Michigan, water crisis, Milwaukee is taking dramatic steps to ensure the safety of its municipal water supply. Will other cities across the Midwest begin to follow suit?
This article from Buitworlds.com talks about a bold plan to replace all lead pipes (or laterals) in Milwaukee with new piping. The projected cost: half a billion dollars, to be split between the city and property owners.
One vital issue is how much lead might find its way into the water supply during the repair/replacement process; even minor disturbances can introduce higher lead levels, according to Bevan Baker, Milwaukee Health Commissioner:
The release of lead-containing scale and sediment from lead service lines during even minor disturbances has been found to contaminate drinking water and present a health risk, especially to vulnerable populations such as children, pregnant women, and breast-feeding mothers.