Last chance for Flint residents to get their water service line replaced for free

Residents have until Sept. 18 to sign up
Crews hydro-excavate in front of a Flint home to determine the composition of its water...
Crews hydro-excavate in front of a Flint home to determine the composition of its water service line. (WJRT)
Published: Aug. 13, 2020 at 3:13 PM EDT
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - Flint Mayor Sheldon Neeley is offering residents a final chance to sign up for getting their water service line replaced for free before the the citywide project is completed later this year.

Residents have until Sept. 18 to sign up for the program before it ends for good in the fall. Crews are replacing all lead and galvanized water service lines at residences in the city of Flint after they contributed to the Flint water crisis.

Neeley said the project is about 90% complete as of Thursday. Crews resumed work for the season on May 28, which was delayed several months by the coronavirus pandemic.

To sign up, call 810-410-1133, email or send a letter to: Flint City Hall, DPW service line replacement program, 1101 S. Saginaw St., Flint, MI 48502. Some age 18 or older must be present for crews to work on a home’s water service line.

Even residents who previously declined to have their water service lines checked can change their mind now and register for the program.

The Flint water crisis was caused when corrosive water from the Flint River was used for the city’s drinking water supply beginning in April 2014, but it was not treated properly. That allowed the water to eat away the protective lining inside lead and galvanized water service lines, which run from the street into homes and businesses.

As a result, particles of lead and metals broke off the water lines and entered the home water supply.

The $97 million citywide water service line project, which involves more than 25,000 residences, was supposed to be complete in 2019. Contractor delays, communication issues and the coronavirus pandemic have pushed that back to the fall of 2020.

Neeley said anyone who filed a consent form to have their home’s water service line replaced before March 2019 and didn’t get a new water line will need to file a new consent form. City officials are concerned about recordkeeping and communication from previous lead contractors.

“We are going to get the job and make sure it is done the right way,” Neeley said. “We need all residents to come together and help us ‘Get the Lead Out.’ Getting your lines checked is quick, easy and free -- but time is running out.”

As of Aug. 7, crews have excavated nearly 26,000 residential water service lines to determine whether they are lead or galvanized. Of those, nearly 9,700 were replaced while the others were determined to be made of copper or other safe materials.

Only about 2,500 residences in the city remain to be checked and potentially replaced. The city hopes to complete those and all lawn restoration work by Nov. 30.

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