- Associated Press - Monday, February 8, 2016

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - Most of the lead water lines in Sioux Falls have been removed and those that remain will be gone within 20 years, according to city officials.

There are about 9,000 water lines in the city and less than 1 percent of them contain lead, the Argus Leader (http://argusne.ws/1PJV2lE ) reported.

“The count right now… is probably about 250 services that are lead in the central core. Out of that, we have a good idea that maybe 200 are active,” city water engineer Jeff Dunn said.

Lead lines were installed in the city until the mid-1930s when copper service lines became standard. Since then, the lead lines have been replaced each time the city does any sort of asphalt, utility or street reconstruction project.

As many as 10 additional lead lines will be replaced this year, according to Dunn.

“The city anticipates that the majority of the remaining lead services will be removed in 15 to 20 years,” he said.

But there’s still less certainty about the lines that connect homes and businesses to the city’s system, because the responsibility of maintaining and replacing falls on the home or property owner, and the city doesn’t keep a comprehensive record of where the lead lines are.

The city uses its purification plant to treat the water and mitigate any health effects that lead exposure can cause, said Sioux Falls environmental engineer Tim Stefanich.

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Information from: Argus Leader, http://www.argusleader.com

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