Concerns continue as city leaders meet to discuss Milwaukee’s lead pipe problem

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MILWAUKEE -- A heads up for Milwaukee homeowners pertaining to the city's efforts to get the lead out of your service lines. The extension comes in the form of the number of homes which may be impacted by lead int he private service portion of the service lines which provide water.lead

The contaminant concerns continue. During Friday's monthly meeting of the City of Milwaukee's Water Quality Task Force, members try to clear up some some confusion about the potential sources of lead in the water.

"Sometimes it's the hidden secrets that are behind the door that you don't look into in the closet, like the interior plumbing sources, that have that significant impact," said Milwaukee Water Quality Task Force Chair, Alderman James Bohl.lead3

Water Works Superintendent, Carrie Lewis, says the age of a particular home is not a good guide.

"There is not a definitive '1951' date as it turns out for the totality of the line," said Bohl.

According to Alderman Bohl, while city leaders have been stating their belief that Milwaukee homes constructed after 1951 should have lead-free lines. City records cannot confirm whether the private portion of those lines are lead or copper.lead4

"It is on the public side, on the city side that we know that 1951 and later that all of the public utility portion was indeed copper. It does not provide a clear, and distinctive indication on the private side that that is indeed the case," said Bohl.lead6

Which means, Bohl explains, the city's initial estimate of 68,000 homes with lead service lines on the private portion is likely low.

"From the city's side, we were looking at replacing 68,500 properties. It may mean that we're going to be looking at taking on more than 68,500 properties," Bohl said.

The city has already discussed purchasing $150,000 worth of drinking water filters within the next several weeks. For more information about this effort, CLICK HERE.