Flint Mayor Says Water Switch 'Too Risky' After Lead Crisis

21 April, 2017, 03:26 | Author: Benny Bass
  • Police: 6 arrested at Flint meeting on city's water supply

The City of Flint announced Tuesday it will keep the Great Lakes Water Authority as its drinking water source under a new 30-year contract.

Weaver said this plan also saves Flint from a 28-year, $7 million a year payment to the Karegnondi Water Authority (KWA) which draws water from Lake Huron.

Great Lakes Water Authority CEO Sue McCormick says WRAP provides many resources such as bill payment and plumbing fix assistance. Those following today's announcement will likely find tomorrow's Metro Times cover story of interest: ACLU reporter and MT alum Curt Guyette looks into the controversial pipeline's history, from the perspective of its opponents and its champions.

Weaver had previously said the city would upgrade its plant, but estimates show that that work would cost more than the $100 million Congress has approved for the city's infrastructure needs. The savings could be used as part of a $177 million update of the city's aging and deteriorating distribution system, including fixing leaky water mains and replacing 18,000 lead service lines, said David Sabuda, Flint's interim chief financial officer.

The mayor of Flint, Mich., is proposing the city stay connected to the Detroit municipal water system rather than switch to treating its own water supply. The Great Lakes Water Authority would benefit by keeping Flint — one of its ten biggest customers — as a long-term customer and, in a partnership with the Flint-area authority and Genesee County, provide backup to Flint and other nearby customers.

The city has been using treated water from the Detroit system since December 2015, after officials discovered Flint's water supply was going untreated. The second annual Hoop 4 Water celebrity basketball game scheduled for May 20 will raise money for Flint.

There will be a 30-day comment period before the proposal goes to the city council for approval, according to the AP.

Bob Kaplan, acting regional director for the Environmental Protection Agency, said the agreement is "the best long-term solution".

Weaver says switching water sources again is too risky and more expensive.

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