Officials encourage Flint residents to continue using filters af - WNEM TV 5

Officials encourage Flint residents to continue using filters after latest results

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FLINT, MI (WNEM) -

Officials with the EPA and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality encouraged Flint residents to continue using filtered and bottled water after the latest water results.

The results were released at a closed door meeting in Chicago on Tuesday and shared with the public at a town hall meeting on Wednesday.

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver said she was encouraged by the information she received at the meeting.

Miguel Del Toral, with the EPA, presented findings that painted a somewhat positive picture of the situation in Flint. The sampling of hundreds of sites in the city limits showed a dramatic decrease in lead and iron over the course of 2016.

That data seems to back up what Virginia Tech researchers, led by Professor Marc Edwards, revealed in their latest round of testing last November.

Despite the results, officials said residents should not drink their tap water without using a filter.

Nearly 300 people packed into the banquet room at the Northbank Center in downtown Flint for the town hall meeting.

"To tell the citizens of Flint the truth and to tell them what we know, when we know it and let us all solve problems together," said Dr. Nicole Lurie, with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The overall consensus was the drinking water situation in Flint is improving, but the water is still not safe to drink from the tap.

"What happened before at your water plant is not going to happen again," said JoLisa McDay, director of the Flint Water Plant.

General Michael McDaniel, who Weaver assigned to oversee pipe replacement, said hundreds of service lines have already been replaced. However, it will be at least another three years before all lead pipes have been replaced.

"I assure you we are working on this every day because we want to get this done and we want to get this done as quickly as possible," McDaniel said.

Weaver said there is reason to be optimistic about the city's water recovery.

"People have to allow us to have the feelings that we have because it's been bottled up for a while. And we've been waiting for certain people to hear certain things," she said.

There were outcries of anger and frustration as many residents felt the effects of the water crisis weren't fully addressed at the meeting. However, some residents were glad to see some progress and have the ability to ask questions.

"I have a really good feeling about the transparency and the openness of what I've heard at this meeting tonight. I believe the agencies that spoke were being honest with Flint residents and being cautiously optimistic," said Rick Squier, Flint resident.

Not everyone in attendance was reassured or optimistic that an end is in sight.

"I'm very discouraged because many of the people on the panel failed us and brought us into the situation. I'm also discouraged because I see no community people on the panel," said Claire McClinton, Flint resident.

Some residents were concerned with effects the meeting didn't address and wonder if there will ever be any real fix to the crisis.

"What's the end of the tunnel look like and how will it impact us economically and in our housing and when can we return to normality," said Todd Lamb, Flint resident.

Congressman Dan Kildee released the following statement regarding the town hall meeting:

It is important to stress that this water crisis is not over. The state, which created the crisis, needs to step up and do more to help Flint families. The federal government, including the Obama Administration and Congress, has already stepped up to provide resources to replace lead pipes, expand health care services and provide nutritious foods to help mitigate the effects of lead. The Governor needs to act on more state aid for Flint.

The documents can be found below:

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