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It could take 70 years to replace lead water lines in Milwaukee

“It certainly is a critical public health challenge,” said Karen Timberlake, Wisconsin Department of Health Services secretary-designee.

Of the nearly 20,000 children under the age of 6 years old tested last year in Milwaukee, 10.1% had elevated blood lead levels that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention classifies as lead poisoning.

Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson said the city is replacing lead water service lines to homes at a rate of about 1,000 per year. The work began five years ago with more than 70,000 homes having lead lines.

“A lack of adequate funding has led to an unacceptable 70-year timeline to replace all lead service lines in this city”

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