As cities scramble to replace lead lines, Eagle River's just about doneSubmitted: 02/08/2019
As cities scramble to replace lead lines, Eagle River's just about done
Ben Meyer
Ben Meyer
Managing Editor / Senior Reporter

EAGLE RIVER - Nearly 80,000 homes and businesses in Milwaukee get their water through lead service lines.

Ingesting lead can lead to brain damage, especially in children.

But in the last few years, one Northwoods city has eliminated nearly all of its lead lines at no cost to property owners.

"To have any lead going into people's homes, where they're bathing in it, where they're drinking it, is not a good thing," said Eagle River Mayor Jeff Hyslop.

Hyslop says, a few years ago, more than 60 homes in the city still relied on lead lines. Leaders wanted to change that.

Utility Manager Mike Sanborn oversaw a project using grant money to pay for lead line replacement on private property. Usually, it's up to the homeowner to pay for their own work.

"We wanted just to get it done, and we didn't want it to be an issue for the homeowners where they had to think about it," Hyslop said.

The city will replace a final line this spring, contributing to Gov. Tony Evers' proclamation of 2019 as the year of clean drinking water in Wisconsin.

It's possible the city will discover a few more lead lines it doesn't know about.

"If any more are identified, we'll work on getting those changed out also," Sanborn said.

A city as close as Wausau still has more than 5,000 lead service lines. But in Eagle River, it's problem solved.

"Their whole water service is safer. Their drinking water is safer. It was kind of a no-brainer for everybody involved," Hyslop said.

Many cities used grant money to help homeowners pay for some of lead line replacement. As far as Eagle River can tell, it's the only city to fully fund private water line replacement.

Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
| Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com


Play Video

RHINELANDER - Northwood bars want to prevent drinking and driving with the Safe Ride Home program. Bar owners sold St. Patrick's Day pub crawl cards the last six weeks to raise money for the program.

Sunday, half of the money was raffled off to seven lucky winners. The other half will support the cause. Bar owner Aaron Schultz has ran the program for the past 11 years. He said all bars in the Oneida County Tavern League have safe ride vouchers for people who need it.

"You just ask your bartender for a free ride home and we will call the cab for you," said Schultz.

+ Read More

Play Video


It's no secret that people may need an extra set of eyes, ears, and hands when growing older.

One local organization known as Tomahawk Area Interfaith Volunteers (TAIV) works to provide that extra help to seniors. 

This month those volunteers will throw their annual spring fundraiser, Master the Mic.

It will be a night of entertainment in support of the program's mission of helping others. 

"It's our major fundraiser that all the money goes back to TAIV for operational costs," said board member Patti Panfil.

TAIV offers a variety of services, but their transportation aide is in high demand. 

"A lot of seniors do need the help in their homes or perhaps are not driving any more and they need transportation to and from, mostly medical appointments," said Panfil.

TAIV is currently looking for more talent to perform in the fundraiser's talent show.

It will be on March 30th for those who'd like to attend and/or participate. 

For more details, visit the link below:


+ Read More

MADISON - Democrat Beto O'Rourke is making his first stops in Wisconsin as a presidential candidate, but he says 20 years ago he toured the state with his punk rock band.

+ Read More

Play Video

TOMAHAWK - Tomahawk Figure Skating Club presented its final show of the season Sunday. For high school senior Megan Marcks, it was the final show in a ten-year journey.

"[The plan is to] just to go out with a great performance and be able to experience this with a lot of great other skaters," said Marcks.

Figure skating taught Marcks resilience.

"I've fallen in shows in the past and I just shake it off and get back up," said Marcks.

It also let her escape the world for a few hours at a time.

"You can just go on the ice and get over anything you're having troubles with," said Marcks.

Through figure skating, she feels she can just be herself.

"I'm wearing jeans this year and I just love wearing jeans," said Marcks.

+ Read More

MILWAUKEE - The man accused of kidnapping Noelani Robinson and charged with killing her mother Sierra Robinson, appeared in court Sunday according to our sister station TMJ4.

+ Read More

MADISON - The University of Wisconsin System is hoping new advising software will help improve retention and graduation rates among students of color.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Two cars collided on Highway 17, right by the intersection at County Road A in Rhinelander around 8:30 p.m.

A Honda CRV traveling south crossed the center line and hit a car coming in the opposite direction. 

There was one driver in each car. 

No injuries have been reported at this time.

The Crescent Fire Department, Lincoln County Sheriff's Office, Oneida County Sheriff's Office, and the Oneida County Ambulance Service responded to the scene. 

Responders could not say if alcohol was involved.

+ Read More
+ More General News