First lead pipe removed in the City of Flint

FLINT, Mich. (WLNS) – The Lansing Board of Water and Light is here today, assisting local crews remove the first lead pipe in Flint as Mayor Karen Weaver kicks off the Fast Start Project.

“My mission is to totally get the lead out of Flint, but we cannot and we will not stop there,” Weaver said.

Mayor Weaver is calling on the Michigan legislature to approve 25 million dollars to continue the first phase of the 55 million dollar plan.

“We owe our residents something,” Weaver said. “We owe the people in this community something.”

While Flint is just starting to remove old pipes, the Lansing BWL has replaced nearly 14,000 of them over the last 12 years.

“We probably got a jump on most other cities doing this,” said Dick Peffley, General Manager of the Lansing Board of Water and Light.

A jump start, and the experience to help Flint; General Manager Dick Peffley is at the forefront of the efforts.

“The city has asked us how to do a complete replacement from the water main right into the meter,” Peffley said.

Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero says it’s a moment of pride for his city.

“This is our Board of Water and Light,” Bernero said. “These guys have the expertise. They developed the technique, and to have them share it here in Flint is a great thing.”

“Well you know you never know when you’re gonna need help and it’s the right thing to do,” Peffley said.

The BWL trained local crews this week, and will continue to provide technical assistance moving forward. Peffley says they’re just helping their neighbors.

“Lansing is hometown power, hometown people,” Peffley said. “Well, you know Flint’s just an extension of that in my mind.”

After the first replacement today, officials are hoping to install new copper pipes in 29 more homes over the next month.

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