Video: Detroit Water & Sewerage Department and BlueConduit

Dunrie Greiling

My name is Bryan Peckinpaugh. I’m the Public Affairs Director for the Detroit Water & Sewerage Department, and I’ve been part of the Lead Service Line Replacement Program since we launched it in 2018.

We are a city of single-family homes, so there are a lot of individual lead service lines. We have more than any city in the state of Michigan.

Our original estimate of lead service lines back in 2018, was about 120,000.

We would have to dig up every three hundred-and-some-thousand stop boxes in the City of Detroit and we’d have to increase our rates in order to accommodate that cost.

By working with BlueConduit and the predictive modeling system, we’re able to save that cost and have no impact on the rate.

BlueConduit opened our eyes to all these data points so that we could be more cost-effective, faster for our replacements, and definitely more efficient.

Now we’ve been able to hone in on the data through the BlueConduit work so far we went from 120,000 estimated lead service lines to 80,000 lead service lines.

Our drinking water in Detroit is safe and clean to drink. But we do want to get the lead out, so we can do our part by replacing the full lead service lines from the water main to the inside the house to the meter for the 80-some-thousand houses that have lead service lines.

BlueConduit has definitely taken us to the next level to save money and to be more efficient and accelerate our program.

We’re also thankful that Kresge Foundation was able to match The Rockefeller Foundation gift so that we were able to fully fund our partnership with BlueConduit. So that there’d be no impact on our budget and no impact on water bills.

This is a generational impact, many of us live in the City of Detroit, many of the employees here have kids or grandkids that go to schools. We want to make sure that they don’t have the possibility of lead in their drinking water. So we’re doing our part for today and for future generations.

Detroit Water and Sewerage Department has had a wonderful experience with BlueConduit. We would recommend that other utilities have a conversation with BlueConduit and see how BlueConduit can help not only inventory but also efficient process of replacing lead service lines of getting the lead out in their communities.

Bryan Peckinpaugh, Public Affairs Director, Detroit Water & Sewerage Department

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