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Cincinnati Moves Forward With Plans To Replace Lead Water Service Lines

Officials with Cincinnati Water Works are gearing up for a 15-year project to replace remaining lead service lines in the city.  

City council approved the plan in October and work will begin in May.  

Water Works Director Cathy Bailey said the utility will replace both the public and private portion of the service line.

"The utility will remove the complete lead service line upfront," Bailey said. "So we're basically fronting the money for the public portion and the private portion, so we can take that line out at one time."

In the past, the city would replace the public portion and property owners were responsible for the lines to their homes or businesses.

"And then we will allow the customers to pay that private portion back over a period of either five, ten years whatever we deem necessary for the property assessment that will occur."

Water Works is crafting a program to assist low-income property owners with the cost of replacing the private portion of their lines.  

The program is expected to cost about $14 million a year.  

There are currently about 15,000 lead service lines remaining in the city.