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Jackson seeking residents' cooperation on lead water line replacements

A lead service pipe being pulled out of dirt in Jackson.
City of Jackson
Crews in Jackson have replaced close to 500 lead water lines in the city.

The city of Jackson is asking homeowners to cooperate with its efforts to replace nearly 11,000 lead water lines.

Since 2019, crews in Jackson have replaced close to 500 lead water lines with ones made of plastic or copper. The City Council has allocated $2.3 million from its share of the federal American Rescue Plan towards the project.

But the city still has more than 10,000 left to go, and officials estimate it will take decades to replace all of them.

Jackson Public Information Officer Aaron Dimick said the city doesn't have any problem with lead contamination in its water, but it's removing the service pipes to comply with state law and eliminate the potential risk.

Dimick said it’s important for homeowners to let crews get the replacements done.

"This is something that we have to do," Dimick said. "The more that our residents cooperate with us, the easier it's going to be for you and your neighbors because if we can't work with you as quickly as we'd like, that also holds up other replacements as well."

The city is prioritizing properties where only part of the service line is made of lead because those projects can be completed quicker.

Aaron Dimick said crews can replace lead service lines on as many as three properties in a day.

"Our efforts to replace those lines are really ramping up. So, we just want our residents to know that this is something we definitely take seriously, and it's really an all hands on deck approach and we have a dedicated crew that's working on this.”

Arjun Thakkar is WKAR's politics and civics reporter.
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