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Shawano works to remove lead water pipes

Published: Jan. 8, 2021 at 9:33 PM CST
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SHAWANO, Wis. (WBAY) - The City of Shawano is taking steps to remove lead water lines from homeowners’ properties over the next two years.

“We’re planning on removing 200 to 250 lead service lines in the city of Shawano this year and hopefully about the same next year and get that taken care of,” Shawano Public Workers Director Scott Kroening said.

It’s a process that’s been ongoing in Shawano for many years, but it’s become more urgent after three homes exceeded the maximum containment level for lead last summer.

“We do testing in residential homes every other year. We do 20 homes that we test, and of the twenty, in 2020, in our third quarter testing back in July, we did have three exceedances. They were just barely over the maximum contaminant level,” Kroening said.

The city also checked its four water wells and determined there was not an issue city-wide, only with the three homes.

The city is expecting to get about $1 million from the Environmental Improvement Fund. It’s federal and state money that will help replace the homeowners’ portion of the lead lines, but time is short and the city needs the public’s help.

“This funding that we have applied for -- and we’re pretty sure we’re going to get -- is only available for a couple of years. It’s a great opportunity for those homeowners to get that replaced at no cost.”

People who want to get their drinking water tested should contact Badger Laboratories in Neenah, (920) 729-1100, or Clean Water Testing in Appleton, (920) 733-7590.

The city created a website with details about lead and drinking water (CLICK HERE). The site includes a map of residences where it believes lead service lines are still used.

Kroening says they have about half of the city’s homes inspected at this time and expect to replace about 600 water service lines. Once the funding comes through, the city will work to replace the lines this year and next.

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