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Effort to replace lead water service pipes in Wausau being recognized

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

Representatives from the White House will be in Wausau Thursday to help kick off the city's effort to replace eight thousand lead service lines still in use in the city. 

Director of Intergovernmental Affairs Tony Perez says he's excited to see how the program works.

“It is truly going to be a historic moment for them, and it should be a moment that everybody should get to experience, not simply in Marathon County or Wisconsin, but across the country”, said Perez.

Perez says his interest in the program also comes from the large intergovernmental cooperation, which is something he hopes other communities follow.

“Working closely with mayors, with other county and local elected officials. We’ll be working with Governor Evers and other governors everywhere.”

Perez says he's been in contact with state and local officials about the project for months now because the White House hopes that Wausau's plan will be one for other communities to follow.

“No person in this country should have to worry that the water from their tap will harm them, or poison their kids or their grandkids.”

Perez credits Mayor Katie Rosenberg's ambition with putting Wausau at the front of the line for the lead service line accelerator program.

“Clean water is good government, and Mayor Rosenberg has been a relentless advocate for this.”

The lead service lines will be replaced over the next five years at no cost to homeowners.

Perez will be in Wausau to tour the new drinking water treatment plant with Mayor Katie Rosenberg and Governor Tony Evers, followed by a ceremony at a Wausau home to mark the start of the lead service line removal program.

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