Snyder: City's lead infrastructure need to be addressed - WNEM TV 5

Snyder: City's lead infrastructure need to be addressed

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FLINT, MI (WNEM) -

“I could hardly sleep knowing that our youngest and most vulnerable children would be at greater risk if precautionary steps were not taken,” said Flint Mayor Dayne Walling.

And now, those steps are in motion.

On Thursday, Gov. Rick Snyder announced the city will flip the switch back to using Detroit water.

Many in the area wondered why it took so long.

“This is a problem that should never have happened in the first place, and it's a fix to a problem that residents never should have gone through,” said state Sen. Jim Ananich.

The governor said the public’s outcry was a factor. Snyder attributes the policy shift to information gathered at Wednesday's technical advisory meeting.

The DEQ announced water screening from the past week showed even higher levels of lead in three flint schools than previous reports.

Freeman elementary, had the highest levels of lead at 101 parts per billion.

Now, that's in comparison to the 15 parts per billion that's within the limit.

“We're going to ask for additional people resources and effort to go into those as they attend school,” Snyder said.

The city is already preparing pipelines to make the switch in about two weeks.

And in the meantime, continue drinking from your water bottles.           

Testing will continue through the switch to make sure the pipes aren't permanently damaged, and the water will again be safe to drink.

“We don't want to assume things. We want to be diligent,” Snyder said. “That includes offering testing to people, offering filters, and continuing to put more emphasis on lead education as we go forward.”

And in the long run? Snyder says the pipes need to eventually be replaced.

“The real question is about lead pipes and lead service lines in people's homes and other places,” Snyder said. “That's where we may want to look at what's available there in partnership with the federal government.”

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