Snyder calls on Flint to switch back to Detroit water

Flint stopped opted out of Detroit's water system last year to cut costs, but health officials discovered high levels of lead in the water.

A new plan announced Thursday to fix Flint's hazardous water did little to satisfy the residents who feel they've been lied to all along.

"We were boiling lead water and drinking it," said A.C. Dumas. "Because they told us you could boil it and you can drink it. So we've been boiling lead water all along and drinking it."

"This is a big move for (Mayor) Dane Walling's political stance," said Tony Palladino. "We're done with it."

Mayor Dayne Walling, with Gov. Rick Snyder's support, announced a plan to return to Detroit's water system after 14 rocky months of using water from the Flint River instead.

The hope then was to save the city money. But it sent water bills for homes skyrocketing, for water too unsafe to bathe in, let alone drink.

"The public safety of our citizens is a paramount concern across all of Michigan," Snyder said. "And there's a need for Flint residents to have a good clean source of water."

The plan to use Flint water has failed and now even more taxpayer money will be shelled out to fix the mistake. Returning to Detroit's water system will cost the state $6 million, plus another $6 million from the city of Flint, and the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.

"The city of Flint should be reconnected to the Detroit system within approximately two weeks," Walling said. "Work on that has already started."

The city of Flint is also announcing dangerously high levels of lead in at least three elementary schools. Hundreds of students will now have to be tested.

"We want to be very diligent so that includes continuing to offer testing to people, continuing to recommend that people use filters, and continuing to put more resources on lead education," Snyder said.

Still, the mayor and governor are not apologizing, but calling this a learning experience for the entire country.

"The real question is about lead pipes, and lead service lines in people's homes and other places," Snyder said. "That's where we want to look at what options may be available longer-term through our partnership with the federal government."

Residents are relived, but call the response too little too late as they grapple with illnesses and worry about long term affects.

"I feel the citizens feel betrayed," Dumas said. "I feel the elderly and the children all of us feel betrayed."


 


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