Professor Estimates 8,000 Lead Pipes in Flint

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LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A research team led by a University of Michigan-Flint professor estimates the city has more than 8,000 lead service lines.

Dr. Marty Kaufman announced the findings at a news conference Monday at City Hall. Kaufman’s team analyzed Flint’s handwritten records, paper maps, and scanned images to create a digital database of lead pipes.

Kaufman stresses that while the project is a full compilation of available data, the records — compiled from a 1984 survey — don’t always indicate the types of pipes used.

The numbers and locations of lead service lines in Flint is significant, because Mayor Karen Weaver, who appeared with Kaufman, wants them removed as quickly as possible.

Flint switched its drinking water source from Detroit to the Flint River in 2014.

Flint didn’t treat the water with anti-corrosion chemicals, allowing the river water to scrape too much lead from aging pipes and into some residents’ homes.