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Bill Would Require Disclosure of Lead Lines; City of Grand Rapids Paying to Replace Water Lines

A bill being drafted in the Michigan House would require water departments to notify property owners of existing lead service lines. Furthermore, the bill would require rental property owners to disclose the existence of such lines before renting to someone or during the tenancy once the landlord has been notified of an existing lead service line or any change to information available to the owner. The bill is another bill in response to the Flint water issue.

The City of Grand Rapids has a program in place to pay for the replacement of all lead water lines in the city, including service lines to the home that are privately owned. Owners should contact the water department to let them know that they would like to participate in the program. The program includes rental properties. The City typically replaces lines as street and sidewalk work is done.

Lead in water lines is not typically a source of lead poisoning in children—except in unusual cases such as Flint where the water was not treated correctly and lead was leached from the water lines into the water. At the City of Grand Rapids Commission meeting where additional funds were approved for water line replacement, Commissioner Lenear commented that she hoped the City would approve funding in the future for addressing lead hazards in housing. The RPOA cheers Commissioner Lenear’s suggestion as outside funding is necessary to address lead hazards in older homes without significantly impacting the cost of housing.


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