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Over 90% of City of Benton Harbor lead service lines replaced

LANSING, Mich. – The City of Benton Harbor this week announced that its campaign to accelerate the replacement of aging lead water service lines is nearing completion with more than 90% of the lines in the city having now been inspected and replaced with copper lines, or verified non-lead.

Crews have excavated 171 service lines over the past 30 days and replaced any lead or galvanized services lines with new copper pipe. Crews are currently averaging six line excavations per day.

To date, more than 4,000 water service lines have been replaced or verified non-lead as of this week, leaving roughly 400 to complete. Progress on the project is updated daily on the Benton Harbor project dashboard.

“It is great to hear that we are almost to the finish line,” said Sam Hudson, Benton Harbor resident and retired business owner. “Over the last year, things have really come together and everyone, including the city, county, state of Michigan and the community found ways to work together to get us where we are now.  The work has been done expeditiously to replace the lines and the results are good for my community.”

The funding in the Building Michigan Together Plan signed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer late last month directs $45 million to the City of Benton Harbor for infrastructure improvements including replacement of all the city’s lead water service lines. The funding ensures the city will have resources to fully replace all lead service lines by the spring of 2023 as ordered by Governor Whitmer late last year.

More than 2,700 “Right of Access” Water Service Line Replacement Agreement forms have been completed by the 2,900 current water customers in Benton Harbor – a necessary step to allow the contractors to access private properties to perform the work. The Water Service Line Replacement Agreement may be accessed, filled out and submitted online. Forms may also be submitted to Abonmarche, 95 West Main Street, Benton Harbor, MI 49022 or emailed to Sandy Riehl at sriehl@abonmarche.com. For questions, call 269-926-4557.

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EGLE Media Office, EGLE-Assist@Michigan.gov, 517-284--9278