"The City of Milwaukee and 70,000 residential property owners are facing total costs of $511 million or more to remove all lead pipes delivering drinking water to those homes, and eliminate the risk of contaminating tap water with the toxic metal.
In the interim, the Milwaukee Water Works has canceled 5 miles of water main replacement projects scheduled this year in older residential neighborhoods where lead pipes connect municipal mains to around 500 homes.
The projects are "on pause," Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said, while public works and health officials plan how they will work with property owners to remove the lead service laterals throughout the city.
Make no mistake, Barrett said, Milwaukee treats Lake Michigan water to control corrosion of lead pipes and prevent contamination of drinking water. Tests of tap water required by federal drinking water regulations confirm city water is safe to drink, records show."