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Wausau leaders working on plans to replace lead pipes

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 says she expects that city leaders will spend much of this year crafting the plan to remove lead pipes from the city's water infrastructure, both on the public and private side.

Rosenberg expects the city to have a better idea of what a timeline for the plan will look like later this spring.

“We’re finishing up the draft plan.  We’re worked with a consultant to figure out “What is it that we need?” for us.  Then I’m hoping at least by that time that we’ll have more information from the state on how this will work”, said Rosenberg. 

Rosenberg would like to have some sort of plan for replacing pipes so residents know when they will be focusing on specific neighborhoods.

“That’s the goal, especially as it comes to those street reconstructions, the big ones, because that’s really the opportunity”.

Rosenberg says they are already working to dove tail as many lead service line replacements as they can with major street reconstruction projects.

It also remains unclear what funding sources will be available for residents, as Rosenberg and others have said they don't want the expense falling entirely on the shoulders of the home and property owners.

It's estimated that there are some 8,000 lead service lines still in use in Wausau, and the cost to replace them all could reach eighty million dollars. Rosenberg expects more information during the April water works meeting.

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