Michigan officials meet to talk Flint water

Michigan officials met to talk Flint water on Friday.

- Governor Rick Snyder headed up a meeting Friday to discuss options to fix the Flint water crisis.

Their goal: Get a list of priorities and timeline to get them done. Snyder said when it comes to Flint water, he doesn't plan to wait for the federal government to take action.

"There needs to be a better, higher standard across the board in terms of the model itself, testing, education and replacement of the lead service lines," Snyder said during the meeting. "We're going to push for that."

A priority discussed was getting the new KWA water system as soon as possible, but before they do that, they wanted to know why Flint was paying so much for water in the first place.

One expert said 30 percent of water is simply wasted from old, broken pipes leaking into the ground and the cost of wasted water is passed to the consumer.

"We have to maybe take a different approach here in Flint and actually encourage people to use more water - that's going to part of the answer that we have to make happen," said Dr. Mark Edwards, an expert from Virginia Tech who was instrumental in bringing the issue to light.

He said it's kind of a catch 22: you want people to use the bad water so the good water can make its way into the system.

"Just like milk goes bad in your refrigerator if it sits around too long, water goes bad too - bacteria grow, lead gets in it," Edwards said. "We have to move that water faster from the treatment plant to the tap if we want make it  good to drink."

That means convincing families to take regular baths and showers - a tall task when trust in the government has been broken.

"It's going to a couple of years to even find the lead pipes," Edwards said. "In the meantime, we have to move water through the system and the governor and everyone is on board with that."

In the interim, Snyder signed a $30 million dollar relief bill that would pay for 65 percent of a Flint water bill.


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