SMYRNA, Ga. — A Cobb County city is planning to spend the next year studying the water pipes at homes across the city as part of a federally-mandated program.
Smyrna officials say they've already started checking water lines at thousands of homes within two parts of the city.
The process involves going out to homes, digging a basketball-sized hole on either side of the water meter, inspecting the water line and then filling in the hole.
Resident Becki Gregory is glad someone is thinking of their safety.
“I know lead is a huge issue and I think it’s wonderful that they’re doing that. If they were to ask to do it in my yard, I’d be delighted," said Gregory.
Her line won’t be tested though.
The city says only homes built before 1986 are being checked because using lead pipes was banned after that year.
The study is federally mandated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency which estimates that nationwide there are between six and 10 million lead service lines.
In total, water lines at about 5,000 properties in the city will be checked.
A replacement plan and related funding will be determined once the city completes an inventory of the water lines.
Smyrna is first checking water lines in city wards 2 and 6 before checking the rest of the city.
Smyrna officials say the goal is to make sure residents have healthy drinking water.
“The health of every citizen in this country is very important, especially people in Smyrna. So if the city is coming to study the water to make sure that we have clean and safe water, that’s very important," said resident Moses Amomzen.
Because this project just kicked off this month, officials say it's too early to tell how many homes may need their water service lines replaced.
The study is expected to take about 12 months to complete.