In the wake of the drinking water crisis in Flint, Michigan, many towns across the country are taking steps to reduce the risk of lead contaminated drinking water—including Elkhart. Elkhart’s first step is identifying those lead service lines.
Elkhart’s Board of Public Works freed up nearly $300,000 for the city’s public works department. Utility Service Manger Laura Kolo says the money will be used to locate all the lead service lines.
“Our water utility and water service dates back to the late 1800s, and our first step is to kind of fill in the blanks on any records," Kolo says.
The city is already replacing lead lines when they’re found during regular maintenance and repairs. This additional funding will allow it to map all the lead lines and develop a plan to replace them.
Kolo says identifying the city’s lead lines will take about a year.
“With a lot of luck, you know, we’ll get it wrapped up by the end of next year, but more likely it’s going to carry into 2018," Kolo says.
Kolo says her department will then have to go back to the city for additional funds to replace the lines.