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Flint getting $2 million to fix water system problems

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

The city of Flint is getting some help from the state to fix some problems with its aging, problem plagued municipal water system.

The governor’s office announced today that Flint will receive $2 million from the state’s Financially Distressed Cities, Villages, and Townships Grant Program.

The city will use the money to detect leaks in its water lines and replace its Water Pollution Control Facility Incinerator.

Flint isn’t alone. Benton Harbor, Ecorse, Highland Park, Pontiac and Inkster are among nearly a dozen cities splitting $8 million dollars from the fund.

Flint’s water woes have been making news for months. Since it began transitioning to a new water system, residents have complained about the water’s taste, smell and appearance. The city has also been cited for violating the Safe Drinking Water Act. 

Flint Emergency Manager Jerry Ambrose says fixing leaks and replacing pipes should begin the process of dealing with some of the current problems.

“The extent that we can replace those pipelines that’s going to increase circulation … that’s going to help address the quality,” says Ambrose.

Flint Mayor Dayne Walling agrees.  

“We need to get the leaks fixed,” says Walling. “We need to get our operations as efficient as possible, so we can run safely and effectively.”

As soon as next week, the city of Flint could hire a consultant to review the water department’s operations.   The city wanted to hire a consultant with experience with using river water as a source of drinking water.  

On Friday, the city plans to hold an event intended to get more people using Flint’s maligned water system.    Many Flint residents have trouble paying their water bills. Friday’s event is intended to give them help doing so.   

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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