Mayor reacts to new estimate of lead pipes needing replacement i - WNEM TV 5

Mayor reacts to new estimate of lead pipes needing replacement in Flint

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)
FLINT, MI (WNEM) -

A team of researchers said Flint's drinking water continues to improve and meet certain safety requirements.

The team, led by professor Marc Edwards, showed photos of how much cleaner the water looks since the change from Flint River water back to treated Detroit water.

However, Edwards said residents in Flint should still not drink the water unless it is first filtered.

This news comes the same the week the city announced it has underestimated how many service lines would have to be replaced.

"As of yesterday, crews have replaced led and galvanized steel service lines at 556 Flint homes," Mayor Karen Weaver said.

A study by the University of Michigan estimates 29,000 lead pipes need to be replaced in the city. That's double the 15,000 pipes the city originally estimated.

"If that figure proves accurate, replacing all of the lead-tainted service lines could cost $140 million or more actually. And that's why we're really, really counting on congress. We're looking to them to pass an aide package for Flint," Weaver said.

She said additional money would speed up the pipe replacement efforts and supply the city with new jobs, including water distributors and filter installers.

Weaver said the jobs will come with a good wage, specifically for Flint residents.

"We want these to be Flint residents to get these jobs because these are gonna be really, really good paying jobs and they will be in the range from $12 to $15 an hour," Weaver said.

She said adding jobs for the people of Flint is positive news, but really only amounts to a sidebar in a city that can't drink its water straight from the tap.

"The goal has always been, and it's going to continue to be, to get money so we can continue to new infrastructure for the city of Flint," Weaver said.

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