Wisconsin Senate passes lead pipe replacement bill

MADISON — A proposal designed to make it easier to replace lead pipes has cleared a hurdle in the Wisconsin Legislature.

The state Senate on Tuesday passed the bill on a unanimous vote. It would allow a public water utility and municipalities to finance property owners' efforts to replace lead pipes running from the street up to a person's home.

The bill allows public water utilities and local governments to provide grants, loans or both to property owners to help them replace portions of water pipes containing lead.

Some fear the bill would lead to higher water bills if utilities put money toward replacing pipes.

The measure now heads to the state Assembly. It must pass the Assembly and be signed by Gov. Scott Walker before becoming law.