Memphis to Begin Lead Pipe Replacement Program

The utility plans on targeting 2,000 lines per year.

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The city of Memphis, Tennessee, is one of the latest to take on the lead-pipe issue.

According to a report by, Memphis Light, Gas & Water has increased its budget for 2017 so that it can bring in the new year by launching a long-term effort to replace all of its lead service lines. So far the utility has tested more than 11,000 residences and recently sent letters to affected homeowners notifying them of the presence of lead in their service laterals.

The report states that lead has been found in the lines at about 1,600 of the tested homes, and the utility eventually expects to find about 25,000 homes with lead service lines, about 10 percent of the customer base. Customers can request free water analysis kits from the utility, though the utility draws its water from a deep aquifer largely secure from contamination and adds an anti-corrosion chemical to prevent lead from leaching into drinking water.

“Our water has never been higher quality than it is today. It’s not a situation like Flint that got worse,” Jerry Collins, the utility’s president and CEO, told in May when the utility first began to try to get better information about the pervasiveness of lead in its system. He says the utility has consistently met the EPA’s lead standards.

The utility plans on replacing about 2,000 lines per year.


Does your utility have any plans to begin the new year by making some progress toward removing lead from its distribution system? Comment below.


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