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State puts on media blitz to encourage Flint to flush pipes

bathtub faucet running
Jacob Barss-Bailey
flickr http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Starting tomorrow, a multi-media ad campaign will urge Flint residents to flush their pipes.

Television, radio and online messages will urge people in Flint to turn their faucets on full blast for 10 minutes a day (five minutes for bathtub spigots and five minutes for kitchen faucets) for the rest of May.

The public relations blitz comes nearly two weeks after government officials urged Flint residents to start flushing their pipes. 

Gov. Rick Snyder says the state is picking up the tab for the water going down the drain.

“Essentially May will be a free water month,” Gov. Snyder told reporters in Flint today. "In respect for the water in the water and sewer bill, there won’t be a charge.”

Paying the city’s water bill for the month will cost the state $1.7 million.

The intent is to flush out lead particles and further spread chemicals that should help heal Flint’s damaged water system.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s Mark Durno says state and federal testing may give some sense if the flush campaign is working.

“Our data and DEQ’s (Department of Environmental Quality) data will give us a really solid picture of what the water system looks like,” says Durno.

At this point, it’s not clear how many people in Flint have been flushing their faucets. The city probably won’t have a clear idea until the current billing cycle is complete sometime next month.

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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