Lead in water has been an ongoing issue in Milwaukee. Today lead is back in the spotlight after Milwaukee’s Public Safety and Health Committee called a special meeting to talk about rising concerns.
Two groups, Freshwater for Life Action Council and Get the Lead Out questioned the city’s integrity when comes to lead water in the water.
Robert Penner is a member of Get the Lead Out.
“We believe based off our data that these pipes pose a very high risk to the community especially when they are disturbed," Penner said.
The groups point to issues theys say are serious problems in Milwaukee including: increased infant mortality rates along a stretch of North Avenue because of water main repairs, greater risks to city owned tenants, and old service lines connected to new homes.
To answer these concerns the city of Milwaukee brought in their own panel including Dr. Swain.
Milwaukee’s Health Department also issued a joint statement saying the water main replacement would not affect drinking water 3 years after completion.
“You would expect if there was a correlation there between water main breaks and infant mortality you see it along the whole city not just particular blocks,” Dr Swain said.
The statement also says there's no evidence that lead poisoning has contributed to any infants death in Milwaukee or that city property ownership leads to increased lead risks.
Milwaukee City Council has mentioned an audit and more research into the issue.