Aluminum air pipes

Does your drinking water run through toxic lead pipes?

Often we don’t think about what might be in our drinking water when we fill our glasses at the tap. Older homes in the Grand Rapids area most likely have lead utility lines feeding their homes. As water travels through these pipes, toxic lead could enter your water.

Is the lead in my water dangerous?

Lead is harmful to health. This can lead to anemia, kidney problems, and even brain damage. Children under six and pregnant women are most at risk of harm. You can have lead poisoning and not look or feel sick. A blood test is the only way to determine if there is lead in your blood.

How does lead harm children?

If lead is swallowed by children while their bodies and nervous systems are still developing, it can cause problems. The lead in their blood can lead to problems with:

  • Growth rates
  • Development of the nervous system
  • Learning
  • Behviour
  • Speech and hearing

The American Water Work Association produced this video on the dangers of lead in our water…

How do I know if I have lead service lines?

Map of lead water service lines

Map: City of Grand Rapids

The City of Grand Rapids has a tool that allows residents to check if their property is connected to a lead service line. The data used for the map is based on historical data, such as plumbing and valve records. If you live in the city of Grand Rapids, you can search to see if your home has a lead service line on their website.

Can lead service lines be replaced?

On Tuesday evening, February 22, 2022, the City of Grand Rapids signed a $60 million project to improve the infrastructure of its aging water system.

The city uses bonds to finance the projects. $20 million will be used to replace pumps in a substation. Other funds will be used to replace some service lines and lead water lines.

The State of Michigan has required all lead pipes to be replaced in 20 years.

WXMI Fox 17 recently did this report on lead water service lines and their future replacement…

Who has the tastiest drinking water?

It was recently announced that Plainfield Township has the “tastiest” drinking water in the state of Michigan. Learn more about it here.

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