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Flint is trying to get more residents to use water filters

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio
Flint Mayor Karen Weaver encourages city residents to allow CORE team members to help them use water filters.

Flint is stepping up its efforts to get more city residents to use water filters.

Today, Mayor Karen Weaver met with dozens of members of the CORE team. CORE stands for Community Outreach and Resident Education. Teams have been fanning out across the city for months, knocking on doors and checking to see if people are properly using filters certified to remove lead in water.

Water filters have been a part of everyday life in Flint since high levels of lead were discovered in the city’s tap water. Recent tests show the city's overall lead levels are now below the federal action level for lead. But officials are still encouraging Flint residents to continue to use the filters, likely for the next three years as lead and galvanized service lines are replaced. Physical disturbances can cause a spike in lead levels.

“When we’re changing those lead service lines, we’re shaking things up and lead can get into your water,” says Weaver, “So proper use of filters is critical.”

Weaver says the city hopes to replace six thousand service lines this year.

During the past year, CORE teams have knocked on more than 80,000 doors.  They’ve assisted 24,000 Flint residents attach and maintain the filters.

“We really, really have to get that number up,” says Weaver.

To accomplish that, the number of CORE team members have been expanded and the city is looking at launching a public relations campaign to get more people to open their doors to CORE team members.

Flint is still several years away, at least, from fixing its water infrastructure and switching to a new water source.

Mayor Weaver met with President Donald Trump today to discuss Flint’s ongoing recovery.   Weaver says she thanked the president for not stopping federal funds earmarked for Flint.   The Trump administration stalled other EPA funds after the president took office in January.

“I also told him we still need some help in the City of Flint. We need help with infrastructure, which I know he said is one of his priorities," Weaver told reporters after meeting with the president, "We need more funding to remove all of the service lines."

Weaver says she is trying to set up another face-to-face meeting with President Trump to discuss Flint's needs, including more public safety funding.

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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