Residents unconvinced by safety in water filters - WNEM TV 5

Residents unconvinced by safety in water filters

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Barbie Biggs was one of thousands of residents who stood in line Saturday for a free water filter.

She like many others feel the water is unsafe to drink.

"I have seen people sick. I have had to come out of my own pocket and give elders water every two weeks I’m retired so I don't have it," Biggs said.

Concerns about the quality of water have grown after recent tests revealed the water in some areas contain high levels of lead, leeching in from the city's old service pipes.

The Genesee County Health Department gave out more than 4,000 free lead filters over the weekend.

The governor has announced the state will provide the city with $1 million to make sure every household in the city has a filter.

But some say the filters are just a Band-Aid and provide little comfort.

"If they spent the money on switching back to Detroit it would solve the corrosion problem," said resident Keith Pemberton.

City administrator, Natasha Henderson said no one could have predicted all the water problems the city has experienced since it stopped getting water from Detroit and started getting it from the Flint River.

She said they are looking at all options to get things back on track, including asking the state for $1.3 million a month to switch back to Detroit without causing a budget deficit.

They're still waiting for a response.

But, Henderson said going back to Detroit still won't solve all the problems.

"The lead issue could continue even if we went back to DWSD," Henderson said.

Although she has a filter, Biggs said she still has no plan to drink the water.

"As far as consuming, that won’t happen," Biggs said.

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