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La Crosse approves water pipe study

Brad Williams

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La Crosse wants to avoid the fate of Flint, Michigan. 

The board of public works announced Monday it is hiring a consultant to study whether the city’s water pipes are showing corrosion. 

High lead levels in the drinking water of Flint have been blamed for many illnesses in that city since 2014.

“We’ve never had a lead or copper sample above the concentrations of concern” in the city’s water,” La Crosse utilities manager Bernie Lenz said.

The company Process Research Solutions will look at ways that La Crosse can minimize levels of metals in its water supply. 

The study is expected to last throughout 2021, and La Crosse would be given two more years after that to adopt recommendations from the consultant.

The La Crosse water system is among the 12 largest in Wisconsin, which are all being targeted for study by the state’s DNR.

Flint’s problem resulted when that city switched from Lake Michigan drinking water to the corrosive waters of a local river.