Lead pipes stock

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About 12% of Selma Water and Sewer Board customers will have lead water pipes leading to their homes or businesses replaced thanks to a $15.1 million forgivable loan from the Alabama Department of Environmental Management.

James Perkins Jr., who in addition to being Selma mayor is also the superintendent of the Selma Water and Sewer Board, announced Tuesday that the Water Board will use the funds to replace lead pipes serving 866 water customers, mostly in the downtown area. The project will replace about 72,000 feet – almost 14 miles – of lead pipe, some of it as much as a century old.

Consulting Engineer Meredith Stone said that city of Selma has offered public water since 1886, making it one of the oldest public water systems in the state. When the city began offering water, Selma consisted of the downtown area around Broad Street, which is why most of the older lead pipes are concentrated in that area.

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