Gov. Scott Walker announced Wednesday that the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources will award more than $26 million as part of a two-year plan to replace lead service lines at homes, schools and daycare center in 42 Wisconsin municipalities.
The DNR started work on the plan in 2016, following a decision by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency giving the state more leeway to provide loan money for water-infrastructure projects, according to a news release.
The money will help replace sections of service line running from a water main to a connection point inside the home. It can also be used for spot replacements in places where the public side of service lines has already been replaced or where emergency repairs are needed.
Property owners are typically responsible for maintaining and replacing service lines, which deliver drinking water from municipalities’ main lines to homes, schools and day cares. The governor’s plan would provide money to help lower the expense of needed replacements.
The amount of money individual municipalities are receiving is varying according to their size. The smallest amount is going to the village of Stratford, which will get $140,750 to replace lines for one year.
Milwaukee, in contrast, will get $4 million. That comes on top of the $2.6 million the city received from the state last year for the removal of lead service lines. In Milwaukee, at least 500 lead service lines will be replaced using state money, Walker’s office said.
“The health and well-being of our citizens is a top priority,” Walker said in a statement. “Safe drinking water is important for all of us. We thank these municipalities for the work they’re doing in this regard, and we are glad to be of assistance.”Follow @natebeck9