Westland whistleblower worried about lead in city water

A longtime city worker is worried about the lead in Westland water.

- Is there lead in the water in Westland, as a longtime city worker has turned into a whistleblower. He says it is not just the water he's concerned about there.

"The city had a complaint there was a leak in the middle of the road," said Frank Raymore. "I dug it up and saw it was a solid lead service pipe."

Raymore, a 19-year Westland Water and Sewer Division worker, says normally those pipes are removed once they're discovered. But that hasn't happened on a number of occasions and it didn't happen two years ago.

"I didn't replace it because I was instructed by my supervisor to fix the leak and bury it," Raymore said.

He says that lead service line, one of several in this older part of Westland, could be delivering lead tainted water to several homes here.

It is one of several allegations Raymore made public during a city council meeting Tuesday. To keep basements from flooding during heavy rains city workers are told to pump raw untreated sewage down lines where it often overflows onto a street in Inkster.

Employees are told to dump sewage down a man made dirt ramp into a wooded area near three subdivsions.

He also claims the city may be falsifying water samples submitted to MDEQ and may  not be providing lead level test results to residents from whom the samples were collected.

"On Sept. 11, 2012, he gave me a  bottle he said fill out this paper, fill up the bottle leave it on the porch and don't look back," said resident Dawn Lyle.

FOX 2: "Did they ever tell you what the test results were?"

"No," Lyle said. "They never told me what the test results would be. They would be in the mail, and I never received anything."

Although Westland gets its water from the Great Lakes Water Authority, Raymore says in some cases corrosion controls used,  may be ineffective.

Some of the homes have copper service lines that are connected to the city's lead service lines, a potentially a dangerous combination.

"The lead and copper put together, it speeds up the corrosion inside the pipe,"  Raymore said. "Not the copper it would be the lead. It actually deteriorates and it speeds it up tenfold. So it really defeats whatever chemical that Detroit is putting in for that corrosion."

Westland Mayor William Wild is now doing  damage control.

"The city attorney has had a chance to look at it, I've had a chance to look at it," Wild said. "And at the end of the day, it looks like we need to sharpen up our policies, do a little more training with our employees. But the investigation showed that it doesn't look like the city has broken any state or federal laws."

There may be broken trust. Wild said that the city has replaced two lead service lines for two houses and plans to do a third soon.

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