City leaders exploring all options in elevated levels of lead in - WNEM TV 5

City leaders exploring all options in elevated levels of lead in water

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FLINT, MI (WNEM) -

Natasha Henderson is the Flint city administrator. She said local leaders are doing everything they can to fix the lead problem in the water.

"That solution could possibly be DWSD. That's not the plan right now. However plans can change and we're going to do what we have to do to try to change those plans," Henderson said.

Numerous medical studies said there are elevated levels of lead in the tap water, making it unsafe to drink for a lot of residents.

Henderson said Flint is exploring a return to Detroit water, hoping for state funding to help cover the $1.5 million per month cost of doing so.

"That decision was made while the city was under financial emergency. So we are graciously asking for assistance," Henderson said.

Many residents have demanded a switch to Detroit water, saying the use of Flint water since 2014 has been a mistake.

But what would it take to revert back to Detroit water?

Howard Croft, the public works director, said when all the planning is done, the actual switch could take just a few days.

"Certainly something that can physically and technically happen no question about that. But it's not as simple as pushing a button," Croft said.

But he warns the city is a long way away from being able to switch. First, state leaders in Lansing would need to lift an emergency manager order mandating Flint gets its water from the Flint River.

"Coordination has to happen between the city of Flint and the drain commissioner’s office," Croft said. "Think about the fact that we have 8,000 valves out there that don't always work. So first of all limiting the flint water from being distributed in the system and re-introducing water from another source."

But lead is still flowing from the tap. And Henderson vows to keep working until that problem is solved.

"We're not going to stop until we come up with a solution," Henderson said.

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