A state lawmaker wants to make it easier for cities to replace lead water service lines. Those are the pipes from water mains into homes and businesses. State Senator Rob Cowles (R-Green Bay) would allow local water utilities to provide financial assistance for replacing the lead service lines.
“They would have to pass an ordinance if they want to use some of their reserve funds, or excess capital funds to go out and work with those typically older homes in inner cities and start gradually cleaning those up,” Cowles said.
Cowles said that currently, municipalities have very few options to assist customers to remove the lead from their water. “Now, will this solve the whole problem overnight? No. But over a period of time if might, if communities want to take advantage of these,” Cowles said.
Lead service pipes can be found in cities around Wisconsin. “There was an $11 million program through the DNR Clean Water Program that sent grants out to local communities. It’s inadequate to handle all of the programs all over the state,” Cowles said. “It’s inadequate to handle all of the problems all over the state.”