The city of Auburn is one of more than 20 New York municipalities awarded funding to replace aging drinking water lines that contain lead.

Auburn will receive $698,134 through the state Department of Health's Lead Service Line Replacement Program. The grant program is part of the Clean Water Infrastructure Act that was included in the 2017-18 state budget.

The city was one of two central New York municipalities to receive funding. Syracuse was also awarded $698,134 to replace lead service lines. In the Finger Lakes region, the town of Lyons in Wayne County received a $538,096 grant.

Overall, the state allocated $20 million to replace lead service lines.

"These critical improvements to New York's drinking water infrastructure are vital to protecting public health and to laying the foundation for future growth and economic prosperity in these communities," Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.

Water contamination is possible when pipes containing lead corrode. While a 1986 federal law bans the use of lead in pipes, older water lines that contain lead could corrode and contaminate the water.

Lead poisoning can be harmful, especially for young children and babies. New York requires medical providers to test children for lead at ages 1 and 2.

Online producer Robert Harding can be reached at (315) 282-2220 or robert.harding@lee.net. Follow him on Twitter @robertharding.

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