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Westland looks to ease lead concerns

WESTLAND, Mich. – The city of Westland went on a big dig Friday searching for city-owned lead service lines.

A city employee claimed he was told to bury lead lines when he found them instead of replacing them.

The worker claimed he was told to ignore lead lines at three addresses. The city investigated and found those lines had been replaced, but city leaders took precautionary measures Friday.

The standard policy in most cities is if city-owned lead lines are discovered when repairing breaks, they are supposed to be replaced.

Westland identified 15 locations where they believe the old lines may still exist.

“We want residents to know, when we get these allegations, we’re going to take them serious,” Westland Mayor  William Wild said.

Dawn Lyle has lived in Westland for 23 years. Workers found a city-owned lead line there.

“Why didn’t they replace these pipes then?” Lyle asked. “What are they hiding? That’s what we want to know.”

All 11 homes to be excavated passed test for lead in 2014, but Dawn has a son with disabilities and is concerned.

“I have sent out to have my own personal test done to see if there’s lead in this water,” Lyle said.

The city checked five homes Friday and only found city-owned lead pipes at Lyle’s home.

Lead lines are not necessarily dangerous if the water running through them is not corrosive.

The city is responding to resident’s concerns in a special meeting Monday night.