Flint mayor says wa­ter switch ‘too risky’ af­ter lead cri­sis

The Washington Times Daily - - NATION -

FLINT | In a re­ver­sal, Mayor Karen Weaver on Tues­day rec­om­mended that Flint keep get­ting its drink­ing wa­ter from a Detroit-area sys­tem for the long term, say­ing a planned switch would be too risky and ex­pen­sive fol­low­ing a hu­man-made cri­sis that left the sup­ply con­tam­i­nated with lead.

“En­sur­ing the pub­lic’s health and

safety is our No. 1 top pri­or­ity,” she said at a news con­fer­ence.

Flint’s wa­ter was tainted with lead for at least 18 months, start­ing in spring 2014. While un­der the con­trol of state-ap­pointed fi­nan­cial man­agers, the city tapped the Flint River as its wa­ter source to save money while a new re­gional pipeline — which of­fi­cials de­ter­mined would be less ex­pen­sive than Detroit-area wa­ter — was be­ing built to Lake Huron.

But the river wa­ter was not treated to re­duce cor­ro­sion. As a re­sult, lead leach­ing from old pipes and fix­tures caused el­e­vated lev­els in chil­dren.

There were E. coli de­tec­tions and

high lev­els of a car­cino­genic dis­in­fec­tant byprod­uct.

Ex­perts also sus­pect a deadly Le­gion­naires’ dis­ease out­break was tied to the wa­ter. Flint re­turned to the Great Lakes Wa­ter Author­ity, which also ser­vices Detroit, in 2015.

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