Ann Arbor among cities highlighted at White House event on lead reduction

ANN ARBOR – Tree Town’s efforts to reduce lead pipes around the city have received praise from the White House.

Ann Arbor was among several cities and communities highlighted during the White House Summit on Accelerating Lead Pipe Replacement event on Friday, Jan. 27.

Mayor Christopher Taylor attended the event, which included discussions on reducing the public health risks of lead pipes.

“We are so excited to partner with the Biden-Harris Administration to eliminate the threat of lead in drinking water,” Taylor said in a City of Ann Arbor notice.

“The City of Ann Arbor will do its part to improve public health and deliver safe, high-quality drinking water through accelerated lead service line replacement. By leveraging data from our meter replacement program to identify galvanized lines and with the crucial support of American Rescue Plan funding, the city has expedited replacement of 25% of its known private lead service lines.”

Ann Arbor is one of the 123 partners of the Biden-Harris Get the Lead Out Partnership, a coalition of communities committed to lead service line replacement. Other Michigan cities recognized include Detroit, Flint and Benton Harbor.

The city has been replacing galvanized service lines and city-owned lead pipes for decades but more recently funded projects have allowed it to further remove and replace private water lines.

More than 300 lines have been replaced since 2019 with some funding from the Biden-Harris American Rescue Plan Act. City officials said that 1,000 more private galvanized service lines are likely to be replaced by 2030 if funding continues.

Ann Arbor households can receive one free lead testing kit from the city by contacting the Water Treatment Plant at 734-994-2840 or by making a request here.

Learn more about the replacement timelines, lead sampling and more about the city’s Lead and Copper Replacement project here.

About the Author:

Sarah has worked for WDIV since June 2018. She covers community events, good eats and small businesses in Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in Applied Linguistics from Grand Valley State University.