Wausau mulls its options to achieve lead compliance
By Nora G. Hertel, Daily Herald Media
The city is about to hire a new full-time employee to help it get lead levels in its water under control, even though partially replacing old lead pipes might exacerbate the problem and a mistake in the test process means it’s a low-level threat.
“We stubbed our toe,” said Interim Public Works and Utilities Director Joe Gehin.
“We think one sample was taken at the wrong faucet,” Wausau Utility Resources Manager Deb Geier explained.
More than 10 percent of water samples in routine tests exceeded lead limits, so the state Department of Natural Resources, enforcing federal regulations, ordered the city to replace some pipes and test water in more homes. Lead can cause problems from neurological disorders to birth defects.
Wausau now is seeking homeowners with lead pipes to help test out of some of the requirements. Residents can call the water utility to learn whether their pipes are made of lead. The testing will not cost property owners directly, but it will cost the city between $75 and $100 per test. Read more