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Three Years After Ill-Fated Switch, Flint Mayor Recommends Using Detroit Water

Flint, Mich., Mayor Karen Weaver endorsed on Tuesday that a city use Detroit’s H2O supply long-term. Flint was regulating Detroit H2O before switching to a possess complement in 2014 to save money.

Ariel Zambelich/NPR


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Ariel Zambelich/NPR

Flint, Mich., Mayor Karen Weaver endorsed on Tuesday that a city use Detroit’s H2O supply long-term. Flint was regulating Detroit H2O before switching to a possess complement in 2014 to save money.

Ariel Zambelich/NPR

After 3 years of difficulty and chaos, Flint, Mich., residents might go behind to a H2O source they used before lead decay showed adult in their celebration water.

In a press discussion today, Mayor Karen Weaver endorsed a city get a H2O from Detroit’s complement long-term. Flint was regulating Detroit H2O before switching in Apr 2014 to H2O from a Flint River as a cost-saving measure.

Using Flint River H2O was characterized as a proxy switch until a city’s tube joining to a Karegnondi Water Authority was complete. City officials didn’t immediately provide a stream H2O to safeguard it didn’t erode pipes. Tests in 2015 showed towering lead levels in a city H2O supply, and Flint switched behind to Detroit H2O – though many pipes had already been corroded, and leached lead, given of a untreated water.

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The recommendation to hang with Detroit H2O (now famous as a Great Lakes Water Authority), that Flint has been regulating given switching behind in Oct 2015, is a annulment of a mayor’s prior plan. In November, Weaver told a Environmental Protection Agency that Flint designed to use KWA water, though a EPA insisted on a series of upgrades before it would assent a city to do that.

As a condition of a $100 million sovereign extend a city was awarded final month to account celebration H2O infrastructure upgrades, The Associated Press reports that Flint was compulsory to reevaluate a preference to use KWA water:

“Nine options were explored, and Weaver pronounced staying with a Great Lakes Water Authority underneath a new 30-year agreement and regulating a internal county as a backup would be a cheapest, costing $269 million over 20 years. Flint estimates it would save $58 million by not upgrading a possess uneasy H2O plant, some-more when it is sealed operationally. The assets could be used to instead refurbish other infrastructure in a aging and deteriorating system, including replacing lead use lines.”

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In a statement, Weaver pronounced a preference was formed on a series of factors, including open health and mercantile responsibility. (Weaver was inaugurated mayor in Nov 2015, after vowing to repair a city’s H2O problems.)

“Continuing with GLWA means Flint would not have to switch H2O sources again,” Weaver said. “This will assistance strengthen residents from any issues that could start and it would discharge a fears or anxieties people might have about another vital change holding place with a water.”

There will be a 30-day criticism duration before a offer goes to a city legislature for approval, according to a AP.

As NPR’s Merrit Kennedy reported final month, new tests showed lead levels in a H2O to be within sovereign limits, though “residents are still suggested to use filters. Many still don’t trust H2O entrance from a daub and cite to splash bottled water.”