© 2024 WOSU Public Media
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Akron Maps its Lead Water Lines for the Public

The map (use the link below) tracks where the lead lines are by address and parcen number.
The map (use the link below) tracks where the lead lines are by address and parcen number.

Akron has published an interactive map showing where its remaining lead pipes are. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze reports that the city created the map with the help of records going back more than half a century.

The map shows blue dots – some clustered, most scattered – throughout the city. Together, they account for 5 percent of the lines that connect water mains to individual homes and businesses.

Akron Press Secretary Ellen Lander Nischt (NEHSH) says the impetus for the map was national concern sparked by the water crisis in Flint, Michigan. But she says the city’s been collecting data since the 1950s.

“Before we really understood all of how lead works and how it affects us, they started proactively taking lead out of our system, seeing there were better alternatives. And they just kept very good records of that.”

The city also uses a special corrosion inhibitor to keep lead from leaching into the water. And Lander Nischt says Akron is replacing remaining lead pipes as part of any water projects – ranging from the multi-million-dollar combined sewer overflows to an individual homeowner replacing his or her water pipes. 

Copyright 2021 WKSU. To see more, visit WKSU.

M.L. Schultze
M.L. Schultze came to WKSU as news director in July 2007 after 25 years at The Repository in Canton, where she was managing editor for nearly a decade. She’s now the digital editor and an award-winning reporter and analyst who has appeared on NPR, Here and Now and the TakeAway, as well as being a regular panelist on Ideas, the WVIZ public television's reporter roundtable.