Flint's lead water crisis part of infrastructure conference - WNEM TV 5

Flint's lead water crisis part of infrastructure conference

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

The crisis in Flint over lead-tainted drinking water will be discussed during a three-day water infrastructure conference.

The event started Tuesday in Flint and is to focus on the need for reinvestment in municipal water and sewer systems, improving water quality and other aspects of an aging infrastructure.

Organizers said lessons learned from Flint and new technologies will be presented.

Flint was under state control when it switched in 2014 from Detroit's water system to the Flint River to save money. The river water was not properly treated to prevent pipe corrosion and lead from old water lines leached into many homes and businesses.

Elevated levels of lead later were found in some children.

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and Flint Mayor Karen Weaver spoke Tuesday.

"End up with a state of the art drinking system that will once again earn the residents' trust," Weaver said.

The city of Flint is still without clean drinking water.

"This is beyond just a water crisis. How do we make this a better, stronger community," Snyder said.

Weaver said that's happening, but not fast enough. She said Snyder needs to realize the problem isn't exclusive to Flint.

"We both need to be talking about is how Flint isn't an isolation and people need to learn from the city of Flint and not let this happen where they are," Weaver said.

The main goal of the conference is to grow from the mistakes and highlight what worked and what didn't in fixing the crisis.

"Let's learn from Flint. We had a sinkhole in Frasier. We had a boil water advisory in Detroit. These are all warning signals," Snyder said.

Weaver hopes the conference signals a rebirth, hoping attendees from outside of Flint see the city as more than just a water crisis.

"One of the things we want the people to know and this speaks to it, is how resilient we are in the city of Flint," Weaver said.

Despite the smiles and hugs, Weaver did not miss another opportunity to put pressure on the governor in front of a packed room.

"We need some more money and with the help of state and federal funds we are going to continue replacing the lead service lines," Weaver said.

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