Public health expert: About 8,000 Flint homes, businesses are fed by lead water pipes

Flint mayor says city ready to start lead pipe removal process

FLINT, Mich. – A public health expert from the University of Michigan-Flint said research shows about 8,000 homes and businesses in the city of Flint are being fed by lead water pipes. 

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver was joined at a press conference Monday morning by University of Michigan-Flint Chancellor Susan Borrego and public health expert Dr. Marty Kaufman.

Kaufman said his research found about 8,000 structures in the city are being fed by toxic lead pipes.

"I expect Dr. Kaufman will be giving us more information about other homes affected," said Weaver.

Kaufman added that information on what kind of pipes exist is not available for about 13,000 structures in Flint, about 11,000 of which are residential. He said the average age of a Flint home is 74 years old. 

"Information simply does not exist on all the city's service lines," he said. 

Weaver wants all of the lead pipes removed from her city as part of her $55 million "Fast Start" plan. She said she is looking for more money from the state, but has $2 million to get started on the process of removing and replacing the pipes. 

"We can now move ahead with the lead service line removal," she said. "The people of Flint have suffered long enough. This is a public health emergency and an economic crisis. I won't rest until every (lead) service line is removed."

Weaver is focused on restoring people's confidence in the government. 

"We just need new pipes. We need new pipes to restore that confidence so that people will start trusting," she said. "We want people to come here. We want people to stay here."

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