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Buffalo program to replace broken or leaking water lines combats lead exposure

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Posted at 1:02 PM, Oct 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-19 13:04:51-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown announced the "Replace Old Lead Lines" (ROLL) program, created to combat lead exposure, has replaced over 100 broken or leaking lines since its launch in late June.

“With the announcement of this program earlier this year, it was my goal to further the city’s commitment to combatting lead exposure, while also making our communities healthier and stronger,” said Mayor Brown. “Replacement of lead service lines will not only ensure the continued safety of our drinking water, but it will also enhance residential infrastructure making it more resilient for the future.”

The program was funded through Governor Andrew Cuomo's water line replacement initiative, as well as grant funding from Senator Chris Jacobs and a grant from the Department of Environmental Conservation.

The water service lines transport water from the city's water main to the homes of residents. If lines are only repaired instead of being replaced, when they leak or break lead particles can be distributed into drinking water.

Officials say beginning January 1, 2020 any city water service line made of lead or having a lead component will be required to be replaced when they break or leak.

"Residents should ensure that water service line replacement is part of their home or renters’ insurance, which can usually be purchased for a relatively small cost. Buffalo Water has also formed a partnership with Homeserve that will allow residents to purchase affordable water service line protection with no deductible," a release states.