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Battle Creek is getting a boost from the state as it goes after old lead pipes

A closeup of two curving metal pipes in a muddy hole
Paul Sancya
AP Photo

Battle Creek has received a $155,000 grant from the state to help it locate lead service lines in the city.

“We have about 4500 to 5000 water services that we’re not sure what type they are, if they are copper, if they’re lead or galvanized or some other type of material,” Kurt Tribbett, an engineering administrator at Battle Creek Public Works, told WMUK.

After locating the lead service lines, the city will remove at least five percent of them each year for 20 years, finishing the removal in 2041.

“Once we identify where the lead service lines are, the state has a requirement that we replace five percent of those every year for twenty years,” Battle Creek Public Works Utility Administrator Perry Hart explained.

Hart says the removal is more precautionary than urgent. He said Battle Creek’s drinking water remains well below the federal cutoff for lead levels, thanks to the city’s corrosion control program.

Still “the goal is to totally eliminate any lead in any drinking water,” Hart said.

With the grant money, Battle Creek will purchase a hydro excavator, a machine that will help the city to identify what kind of material a service line is made of.  

The lead service lines in Battle Creek will be completely removed by 2041.

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