WILMINGTON — There’s probably not a lead pipe in your home or connecting your plumbing to the city’s water line, but you might want to check, said Brian Shidaker, Wilmington’s safety and services director.
“If you have an older home, there is a possibility that you have lead in your water tap due to the pipes in your home,” Shidaker said. “I encourage you to contact a certified plumber, have that checked. If you do have lead pipes, we will help you in testing that water to see what the levels are.”
Shidaker later said he’s been told homes built after 1980 don’t have lead used in the pipes.
David Hockaday, a former council member, said the city inspected every residential property about 15 years ago. Those that showed lead in the water were advised how to take care of it, he said.
“Since then, I don’t think we’ve had a lead problem in Wilmington,” Hockaday said.
“We are not Flint,” Shidaker continued, referring to the Michigan city where municipal water changes exposed residents to unsafe levels of lead. “We do have fantastic quality water.”
Shidaker said there aren’t any lead pipes in the city’s water lines, but those lines stop at a resident’s service line. While lead hasn’t been used for a few decades, Shidaker said some of the city’s older homes’ residents may want to test their water or have a plumber check their pipes, if they’re concerned there may be lead in their homes.
“Lead does not come from the water plant,” Shidaker said. “Nor does it come from our water main lines. Lead actually comes from the service lines running from the main line in the street to the home; it comes from the plumbing inside the home, essentially.”
Wilmington Mayor John Stanforth, a veteran of the construction industry, said lead pipes were most common where the main and the service line meet. He said copper helped phase out the use of lead after World War II, and most lead pipes should be phased out by now.
“The odds of you having lead in your water in Wilmington are real slim,” Stanforth said.
Shidaker said the city tests the water and makes adjustments weekly, and the Environmental Protection Agency regularly monitors the water.
Also at council Thursday:
• Council member Randi Milburn announced Thursday that the city’s judiciary committee will meet March 16 at 6 p.m. to discuss gateway zoning. A map enacting the G-1 gateway zoning ordinance was defeated by a referendum in November.
• Council member Joe Spicer said the solid waste committee will meet Thursday, March 3 at 6 p.m. to discuss a plan for the future of the city’s landfill.
• Council member Jonathan McKay, who chairs the cemetery committee, said concrete barriers have been added to the bridges at the cemetery after someone threw city signs into the creek. The bridges were closed after they were found to be structurally deficient. The committee and Shidaker are considering how to repair the bridges.
• McKay also said the cemetery committee will soon meet to accept money from the Clinton County Foundation’s Nathan Hale Fund, the interest of which benefits the cemetery.
• Council approved a first reading of a resolution that would allow Stanforth to review and enter an agreement for building inspections. Riley said the board of control typically reviews those proposals, but said Shidaker has a conflict of interest. The board of control is statutorily comprised of a city’s service director, its safety director and its mayor. The vote was unanimous, except for council members Kelsey Swindler and Mark McKay, who were absent.
• Council approved a second reading on an ordinance authorizing an urban paving project for part of State Route 730. The city is estimated to pay for $186,472 of the project, up from about 170,000.
• In response to a question from Spicer, Shidaker said he, Wilmington Police Chief Duane Weyand and Wilmington Fire Chief Andy Mason will look into a state capital grant for safety services.
• Council heard from Wilmington resident Paul Hunter, who asked about a Safe Routes to Schools project to help students walk from the Southridge Avenue area to Holmes Elementary. Hunter said he believes there is a problem securing easements for the sidewalk. Shidaker said Stanforth is going to speak to property owners to secure the easements, and Stanforth said, “It’s going to happen very soon.”
• Council approved a first reading for a $5,000 transfer from one salary line to another in the Clinton County Municipal Court.
• Council approved a first reading on a $3,000 general fund appropriation to pay for Flexbank fees, which was erroneously omitted from the city budget, according to Milburn.
• Council approved a first reading on an $8,372 from the waste fund to pay an unemployment claim.
Reach Nathan Kraatz at 937-382-2574, ext. 2510 or on Twitter @NathanKraatz.