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Wausau's mayor shares concerns about lead water pipes at the White House

Lead water pipes are still used in many U.S. homes.
Lead water pipes are still used in many U.S. homes.

Wausau Mayor Katie Rosenberg is back from her appearance at the White House for a panel discussion on lead service line removal.

She says it's too soon to tell how quickly they can implement a plan to remove some eight thousand lead water pipes remaining in the city, but they'd prefer to get it done sooner rather than later.

“So we’re going to keep having those conversations. I feel like we’re getting reception in Madison, and now in D.C. So that’s the goal, just keep advocating for our city’s water solutions”, said Rosenberg.

She says the major hurdle is funding.

Estimates show it could cost up to 80 million dollars to replace the remaining lead lines in Wausau.

“So we’re hoping to come up with a better plan, partner with the DNR. I’m so glad that the new DNR Secretary was there, listening to both me and Mayor Johnson from Milwaukee about what we need from the state.”

Rosenberg says it’s too soon to tell what the plan to replace lead service lines could cost homeowners.

She does want there to be help in one form or another.

“That’s the goal. That’s my goal. I want to make sure that we’re able to help people as much as we can.”

Rosenberg says she'd like to secure as much assistance as possible.

“The first thing I did when I left the White House was to make that one and a half mile walk to Capitol Hill to talk to folks in Senator Baldwin’s office so we could continue that conversation.”

The state of Wisconsin along with the cities of Madison, Milwaukee, Sheboygan, and Wausau are all part of an initiative through the White House to accelerate lead pipe removal nationwide.

President Biden has made it a priority to remove all remaining lead service lines nationwide by the end of this decade.

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