Flint begins using own water supply - WNEM TV 5

Flint begins using own water supply

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The Flint River The Flint River
FLINT, MI (WNEM) -

The city of Flint began using the Flint River as its main source for water Friday, April 25.

The transition was supposed to begin Thursday but was delayed until Friday. The city cut off the water coming from Detroit at a ceremony that took place Friday afternoon.

The water plant's been in taking 12 million gallons of river water a day. The plant has been filtering, softening and testing to make sure the water meets the Department of Environmental Quality standards as well as the water department's standards.

"We've got the best technology for treating river water. It was there as a back-up, now we'll be able to use for a period of time as a primary supply," says Flint Mayor Dayne Walling. "This is a historic step for us. It's the day where we actually turn off the Detroit system and turn on the treated Flint River water going into our drinking water supply."

The change from the Detroit pipeline is one that city leaders have been working toward for a while.

It's just one of the steps the city hopes will lead them out of emergency manager control.

"This is something that we have done, quarterly, over the last decade or so. We do not intend to stop drawing that water in until the Karagondi reaches our plant with the raw water," says Howard Croft, Director of Public Works for the city of Flint.

City officials say for nearly 50 years Detroit has raised water rates on the city at will. Now with the river supplying water, customers wonder if they'll see a change.

"No. Average residents won't notice any difference. The system, as it's designed, has very complex treatment standards and systems built into it. As we've talked before, the plant went through an extensive upgrade in the early 2000s," says Flint Utilities Administrator Daugherty Johnson.

The city will start processing Flint river water and officials hope it will be the source of water for the entire city. The Karegnondi water pipeline is scheduled to be completed in 2016.

Now with the switch officially being flipped and the city getting it's water from the river the D.E.Q. says that they'll remain in contact with the folks at the plant to make sure that the quality remains high.

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