|Contact: Tom Evenson, (608) 266-2839|
|Madison – Governor Scott Walker announced today that Racine, Clintonville, and Florence have completed financial assistance agreements with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) under a new program to replace lead service lines on qualifying private properties.
Together, the agreements total $1,135,000 and will cover work at 496 residential properties as well as two licensed day cares and two schools. The replacements will result in complete removal of the lead service line from the water main to the connection point inside the home or facility.
“Safe drinking water is critical to the health and well-being of everyone in Wisconsin, and our administration is committed to innovative solutions that address community needs,” Governor Walker said. “We applaud the work being done in Racine, Clintonville, and Florence to identify the locations of old lead service lines and target replacement efforts to tackle longstanding infrastructure challenges.”
DNR initiated the lead service line replacement program following a decision by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to allow the state greater flexibility in allocating loan funds for water infrastructure projects. For state Fiscal Year 2017, DNR has allocated $14.5 million for disadvantaged municipalities to help remove old lead service lines that bring drinking water to homes.
“The lead service line replacement program represents one of the many ways DNR partners with communities to manage our water resources and protect public health,” said DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp. “These cooperative efforts involving the state, local governments and skilled private contractors serve as a model for what we can accomplish together.”
The approved replacement projects differ slightly among the communities, reflecting local needs.
The Lead Service Line Replacement Funding program reflects the administration’s commitment to safe drinking water and addresses the financial barriers facing communities where lead service lines continue to deliver drinking water to residences, schools, and licensed day care centers. These service lines extend from the main street pipes owned by local utilities onto private property and into homes, schools, and day care centers.