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Flint getting money to install thousands of new water meters

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

The Environmental Protection Agency has approved a plan that will allow the city of Flint to spend millions of dollars to replace thousands of water meters. 

The money is coming from $120 million set aside by the federal and state governments to help Flint recover from its water crisis.

Flint Chief Financial Officer Hughey Newsome says the new meters should help the city improve its water bill collections and reduce water theft. Newsome admits right now they’re not sure where all the city water is going.

“If you think about the 12 million gallons per day of water that flows through the water system; we can’t account for all of that water,” says Newsome.

Newsome says the city will install 11,000 new water meters over about 18 months starting maybe as early as this fall.

The plan, approved by the EPA, had the backing of state officials.

“The DEQ worked closely with the city of Flint in the development of the state’s intended use plan for the utilization of (Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act) funds to improve infrastructure throughout the city,” says Tiffany Brown, state spokeswoman. 

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver was pleased with the EPA approval of the city’s plans.

“This award is a step in the right direction to help Flint recover from decisions made that ultimately created the Flint Water crisis,” says Weaver.

In addition to the water meters, the city plans to use the relief funds to replace service lines, repair water mains and improve water quality monitoring.

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.