35 municipalities to split nearly $14M for replacement of lead service lines

MILWAUKEE — Thirty-five municipalities will split nearly $14 million from the state of Wisconsin to help remove lead service lines — several in the Milwaukee area.

The money ranges from a couple hundred thousand dollars to about $2.6 million for the City of Milwaukee.

The financial assistance agreement with the state allows the city to assist private property owners in fully replacing lead service lines that supply water to homes, schools and day care centers.

The aging lead service lines extend from the main street pipes owned by local utilities onto private property and into homes, schools, and day care centers. The lines are the responsibility of the property owner who typically would have to pay for full lead service line removal. With this fiscal year’s funding package totaling $13.8 million, communities can help property owners fully replace those lines to provide safe drinking water for families and children.

“Safe drinking water is critical to the health and well-being of everyone in Wisconsin, and this program is working to help address community needs,” Governor Walker said in a statement. “We applaud the work being done in communities across our state to identify old lead service lines and remove them.”

According to Governor Walker’s office, the DNR conceived the funding program last year following a decision by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to allow the state greater flexibility in allocating loan funds for water infrastructure projects.  Under the program, municipalities determine how to distribute the funds. Funding for LSL replacement on private property is in the form of Principal Forgiveness (PF), which means no debt is incurred on behalf of the municipality for these funds.

CLICK HERE to learn more about the Lead Service Line Replacement Funding program.