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It's unclear how much longer the state will distribute bottled water in Flint

steve carmody
Michigan Radio

The state will stop subsidizing Flint water bills this month.

When will the state stop distributing bottled water? 

People in Flint still make daily or weekly trips to the city’s water distribution sites to pick up cases of bottled water. 

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver says she’s heard discussions of ending bottled water distribution by September, which she says is too soon. 

“We know we still need bottled water,” says Weaver, “If we still need to use filters, we still need bottled water as well.”

MSP Capt. Chris Kelenske leads the state’s response to the Flint water crisis.He says the amount of bottled water being distributing in Flint has remained constant for months. 

But Kelenske says whenever there are rumors circulating about the end of bottled water distribution, there’s a run on the distribution centers in town.  

Kelenske wants to assure Flint residents there will be enough bottled water for people who need it for the foreseeable future.

“I can’t give you a date as to when we’re going to stop giving bottled water or we’re going to minimize the amount of bottled water,” says Kelenske, “that’s really a decision that comes from a lot of other people.”

Right now, the people who can and will make that decision aren't saying much.

The governor’s office declined to comment on Weaver’s statement, citing ongoing court-ordered mediation in a lawsuit over home delivery of bottled water in Flint. 

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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