Crews ahead of schedule in replacing lead tainted water lines for 2017

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FLINT (WJRT) (12/5/17) - Crews from four contractors in charge of replacing lead tainted water service lines in Flint are ahead of schedule as 2017 comes to a close.

6,024 homes have had their lines replaced so far in 2017, according to a press release issued by city officials.

ABC12 caught up with workers with Goyette Mechanical to check in on the progress being made.

"The project has gone well all year, summer went great, we're getting into the colder times, things are going well, better than expected," said Project Manager Joe Parks.

Parks credits the pipeline replacements with cooperative residents and relatively decent weather.

"We've managed to keep a good group of workers on the job since the beginning. We've hit a rhythm and have got a good process in place," he said.

Goyette Mechanical is one of the four contractors currently working to replace 20,000 lead tainted water lines in the city following the water emergency.

"Every single job, every single address is going to be a little bit different, there's challenges and obstacles to every single one."

One tool though that is helping to keep those challenges and obstacles to a minimum is something they use call a hydro-excavator, which digs into the ground to the existing water lines which helps identify the pipe composition from the street to the curb and from the curb to the house.

"so that way when we get to the address, we know what we're dealing with and if they identify that the service is already copper, then we don't have to do any work there," Parks said.

In fact, a little over 1,200 homes have not had to have lines replaced because of the existing copper lines.

As for the winter months ahead, Parks says they're ready and prepared.

"We need to be at 4.5 services a day per zone and we're well ahead of that. We're at about 120 percent of what our initial contract was," he said.

The project in its entirety is expected to be completed by 2020.

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