Flint mayor says water switch 'too risky' after lead crisis

Mayor Karen Weaver recommended, during a press conference, that the city stay with its current supplier, Detroit's Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA).

Great Lakes Water Authority CEO Sue McCormick says WRAP provides many resources such as bill payment and plumbing fix assistance.

She said past year that the city of 100,000 residents would stick with a plan to draw from a pipeline to Lake Huron that is still under construction. But she reevaluated that decision as a condition of Flint soon receiving $100 million in federal funding to address the disaster. Tests in 2015 showed elevated lead levels in the city water supply, and Flint switched back to Detroit water - but many pipes had already been corroded, and leached lead, because of the untreated water.

In a press conference today, Mayor Karen Weaver recommended the city get its water from Detroit's system long-term.

"Together, in collaboration with the state of MI, the Genesee County Drain Commissioner's Office (GCDC) and the Karegnondi Water Authority (KWA), Flint residents can be assured that they will continue to receive water of unquestionable quality, at a significant cost savings", the GLWA statement read. City officials didn't immediately treat the river water to ensure it didn't corrode pipes.

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Using Flint River water was characterized as a temporary switch until the city's pipeline connecting to the Karegnondi Water Authority was complete.

The KWA will become a backup source of water for the GLWA, creating needed redundancy in the system that supplies water to 3.9 million customers in 127 communities in Southeast Michigan.

The decision will be finalized in a few weeks after the city hears from the public in a town hall on April 20. "If you look at that asset 25 or 30 years down the road, it's a great asset possibly for Flint".

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