OLATHE, Kan. — Olathe crews are removing lead pipes in the community to ensure families have safe drinking water. The city is examining 37,000 water service lines, looking for lead.
“We need to check and see if there’s a galvanized pipe in there,” said Jerry Land, a concerned homeowner who lives downtown.
When water lines are found to pose a danger to contaminating the water, they’re being replaced one-by-one.
That’s what happened at Land’s turn-of-the century home.
Land said he was glad to know when the city found a problematic water line at his house, which could leach lead into the water supply.
“Drinking water yes, you should, I mean it’s important,” Land said. “Water is life, you know.”
It cost nearly $11,000 to replace Land’s water line, but he won’t have to pay a penny, thanks in part to the federal infrastructure law, which Congress approved on a bipartisan basis last year.
The law includes funding to identify and replace lead water lines.
“There will be no cost to the homeowner if there is a replacement,” said Megan Spence, Olathe’s distribution compliance manager. “We are taking care of the yard restoration after the replacement and any sidewalk work that needs to be completed.”
Spence said federal law requires water utilities to identify and develop a replacement plan for lead water lines by October 2024.
According to the National Resources Defense Council, there are an estimated 160,000 lead water lines in the Sunflower State, the third highest amount in the nation, based on population.
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