Flint crews dig up, replace first lead line

Posted at 5:15 PM, Mar 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-05 17:15:43-05

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — Crews on Friday dug up a lead service line and replaced it with a copper one at the Flint, Michigan, home of an expectant couple.

It marked the first residential lead pipe removal that is part of Mayor Karen Weaver’s Fast Start initiative designed to replace all lead service lines in the city that’s dealing with contaminated water.

Weaver told reporters outside Barry Richardson II’s home that she was “almost speechless” at the prospect of finally beginning to rid the city of lead service lines.

Richardson lives in the home with his pregnant fiancee. He thanked the mayor and said he no longer will “have to worry about the lead poisoning” his water.

Lead leaching from aging pipes in Flint has resulted in elevated lead levels in some children’s bloodstreams. The problems began after the city switched its water supply from Detroit’s system to the Flint River in 2014 to save money.