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Jackson says they will challenge state mandate over replacing lead pipes

Downtown Jackson
Posted at 2:20 PM, Apr 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-26 10:26:42-04

JACKSON, Mich. —
The City of Jackson Public Information Officer sent out a notice about what was discussed at the Jackson City Council on April 23, which included a proposed water increase.

The increase in water rates would be due to the state's new lead/copper rule.

"The state is requiring water departments across Michigan to dig up and check all of their water service line to see if lead pipes are being used," Aaron Dimick said. "If lead pipes are found, they must be replaced. A 20-year timeline has been given from the state."

The staff discussed at the meeting what this could mean to Jackson.

Dimick said, "To comply with the state’s unfunded mandate, the city will have to dig up more than 11,000 services lines in Jackson. The overall cost of digging up lines, replacing them, then repairing streets and sidewalks is estimated to cost more than $184,000,000."

A project like this is likely to mean increased water rates for customers not only, in the City of Jackson, but also, Blackman Township.

Jackson has had various tests performed on their existing lead pipes and the results have shown that the water is properly treated and that lead is not a concern.

The council decided that they will join a lawsuit challenging the state’s order.

They did not vote on this issue at the Monday meeting.

The next city council meeting is Tuesday, May 14.

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