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In 2016, then-President Barack Obama declared a federal emergency in Flint, Michigan after a botched drinking water switch tainted the city’s water supply and spiked lead poisoning rates among children.
The city of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, received its first state grant to replace an estimated 1,266 residential lead service lines only a year later. The city has replaced about 400 lead service lines with those made of copper or plastic, and more are soon slated for swapping.
“We want every lead service line out of our system,” Lane Berg, the city’s utilities manager, said while giving a reporter an up-close look at a replacement job. “So, we’ve set a goal: By the end of 2023, we want to have all the lead out.”
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