Buffalo Water calling on residents to help identify lead service lines

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The City of Buffalo says it doesn’t know what kind of material is being used for about 33,000 water service lines.

So, it’s calling on residents to help them map it all out as part of a coming EPA requirement to replace lead service lines across the country.

“Releasing Buffalo’s first public-facing service line inventory map one year ahead of the EPA requirement is significant to informing Buffalo Water customers so they can take the recommended action that helps identify homes with lead service lines,” Buffalo Water Board Chair Oluwole “OJ” McFoy said.

According to the CDC, exposure to lead can be harmful, especially to children, resulting in brain and nervous system damage, among other problems.

McFoy says the city is actively replacing lead service lines and is asking residents to take an online survey about the materials used in their homes. As of November 30, Buffalo Water has replaced more than 1,900 lead service lines.

These construction and replacement projects are happening daily, Buffalo Water says.

Mayor Byron Brown says Buffalo is one of the first cities in the United States to deploy this map-based initiative.

“By sharing information about where lead pipes are located, we will help residents take the steps necessary to protect themselves from lead exposure,” Brown said.

If you’d like to see what kind of service materials are being used in your home, take a look at the map here.

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Evan Anstey is an Associated Press Award, JANY Award and Emmy-nominated digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2015. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.

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