Crews remove lead pipe from Medford neighborhood

Medford, Ore. — One of what could be dozens of lead pigtail pipes was removed by water commission crews Friday morning in Medford.

The crews discovered the lead piping Wednesday after a search of meter boxes in neighborhoods that pre-date 1946.

The pipe was installed back in 1909 and fed water to 6 different homes and apartments on Oakdale Avenue.

Neighbors said they’re relieved it’s gone, but are still concerned about other pipes in the area.

Meanwhile, a Medford Water Commission spokesperson Sara Bristol said their work has just begun, “As of the end of the day yesterday we checked on 941 services and 20 confirmed galvanized lines so those are places where we’ll be going back to pothole the street and see if there is lead underneath.”

Medford resident Grace Wilson said, “I’m still wondering are there any other connections or pieces of pipe that need to be addressed, hoping that’s it.”

Water was shut down for a brief time while crews installed new copper piping.

Lead level test results are expected sometime in the next couple of weeks. It’s the first pipe the commission has removed since they first started looking specifically for lead piping, and it happened only after NBC5 news brought the issue to light in early June.

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