The state Senate has approved legislation designed to help homeowners replace water service lines that contain lead.
The bill allows utility companies to offer low or no-interest loans and grants to help remove the hazardous lines and replace them. More than 170,000 homes in the state are estimated to still have lead laterals in place, which homeowners can spend upwards of $3,000 to replace.
While communities across the state have worked to replace water mains, state Senator Rob Cowles (R-Green Bay) noted during debate on the Senate floor Tuesday that many of the connections to homes remain untouched. “People are consuming lead, it’s bad for their health,” he argued.
The bill would allow utility providers to raise rates to help fund the program. It was passed unanimously by the Senate and now heads to the Assembly.