Flint mayor proposes staying on Detroit water supply

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Flint's mayor recommended Tuesday that the city continue getting its drinking water from a Detroit-area system for the long term, following a crisis that left the supply contaminated with lead.

Flint and Genesee County communities split off from Detroit's water system in 2014 to build the KWA pipeline in a bid to become independent of Detroit's water system, which was spun off into the new Great Lakes Water Authority in Detroit's 2014 bankruptcy restructuring.

Last year, Weaver said the city of 100,000 residents would stick with a plan to draw from a pipeline to Lake Huron that is under construction.

"Continuing with GLWA means Flint would not have to switch water sources again", Weaver said. 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.

After three years of confusion and chaos, Flint, Mich., residents may go back to the water source they used before lead contamination showed up in their drinking water.

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 city of Flint, Michigan is trying to determine from where it should receive its water in the future.

The mayor said all pipes will be replaced in the city by 2019. The second annual Hoop 4 Water celebrity basketball game scheduled for May 20 will raise money for Flint.

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