Memphis Light Gas and Water plans to start off the year 2017 replacing pipes that have lead in them that lead to people’s homes. So far the utility company has tested more than 11,000 homes for lead pipes.
Customers learning they have lead in their pipes don’t know what to do next.
” I’m concerned there is lead in the water and that letter confirmed that,” said Chad Hilde, MLGW customer. Hilde is talking about this letter he got from MLGW two weeks ago. Notifying him that MLGW inspectors found the presence of lead in the pipe that connects the water meter at his house to the MLGW water distribution center.
” The water treated at this address has got lead in it so now I am not drinking water in the house,” said Hilde.
According to the utility company as of last week, more than 11,000 homes have been inspected for lead service lines. Of those, inspectors have found lead in more than 1600. When it’s all said and done, MLGW expects about 25,000homes will have lead in service lines, which is about 10 percent of customers.
“I know Memphis has real good water so to learn there is lead in my pipes is concerning,” said Hilde.
According to the letter, most of the locally affected homes were built before 1960.
Customers can request a free water analysis kit from MLGW. Utility officials also suggest flushing the properties water system by running cold water thru the faucet before using it for drinking, cooking or making baby formula. Officials also suggest hiring a plumber for an inspection.
Hilde’s trying to determine his next move.
” I guess I can start drinking more bottled water,” said Hilde.
MLGW increased its budget for 2017 so it can begin replacing the lead service lines. Officials plan on replacing 2000 a year which means it could take ten years before the project is complete.