Plymouth Utility Superintendent Donnie Davidson told members of the Board of Public Works and Safety a letter was sent in the city water bills this weekend informing customers that as a requirement from the new lead and copper rule, the city has to determine the type of material that service lines are made of for water. He explained saying, “This all goes back to the Flint, MI and recently Benton Harbor where they have had some issues with lead service lines.”
Davidson said there is legislation that was passed that requires all providers to identify within a certain time frame the type of material the city’s service lines are made of. He said, “If we discover we have lead lines that need to be replaced, at that point we have to make a decision on how we are going to go about replacing those lines.” He continued, “Technically the city is only responsible from the water main to the curb stop which is generally at the property line.”
Davidson said it would be a decision on changing out the lines if some are discovered. He said there could be some federal funding available from the new infrastructure project that’s been approved. Davidson said, “To date, we are not aware of any lead service lines, but over the years we’ve replaced them as we find them. I think we are in pretty good shape.”
To complete the study a city employee will need to enter the property of each customer to see what the material is in the home or business. The work should take approximately 5 minutes.
The Utility Superintendent said not every property will need to be entered. He told the Board of Public Works, “We will be going through all of our records. More recent construction details the information we need. Construction 20 years ago and older didn’t do a good job or didn’t see the need to write down the materials used.” He said in new developments like Eastwood or Tall Oaks they have good records, and most are copper or plastic. Davidson said, “We can rule those out right off the bat. The ones we are concerned with are in the older parts of town.” While lead has been banned for service lines since the 50’s the city employees will have to investigate properties to make a determination.
The city’s utility department work hours are 7:30 to 4:30 Monday through Friday. Citizens can make an appointment by calling 574-936-2543, the Plymouth Water Department. Davidson said his staff will also be going door-to-door to complete this project over the winter season.
All employees will have City of Plymouth issued identification and will arrive in a city vehicle.
Inspections are expected to begin on December 1st.