Lincoln City Council approves $32.6 million loan to replace lead pipes

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – The Lincoln City Council voted unanimously Monday to accept a $32.6 million loan to replace more than 6,000 lead pipes in the city.

It’s part of a new U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rule aimed at replacing every lead water pipe in the country.

An estimated 53,230 pipes across Nebraska would need to be replaced over the next decade, according to an EPA assessment released in April.

The Lincoln Transportation and Utilities Department said the city does not have lead pipes; They are only on private property.

And most are in homes built between the 1910s and 1950s.

The project aims to end the practice of supplying drinking water to households through toxic lead pipes, which pose a potential health hazard.

“There are certain health risks, particularly for vulnerable populations,” said Liz Elliott, LTU director.

She said young children, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems were at risk.

“It could simply be a number of health issues that we want to make sure we don’t add to the issues they may have,” Elliott said.

Replacing lead pipes costs the homeowner nothing; All you have to do is give permission.

If you’re not sure if your home has lead pipes, don’t worry.

LTU will soon begin surveying areas to determine whether homes have lead pipes.

The city is working to create a map and will also reach out to affected homeowners.

The program is currently planned to run for a decade.

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