Flint Officially Begins Using Flint River Water as Temporary Primary Water Source
On Friday, for the first time in fifty years, the City of Flint began using Flint River water as its primary water source for residents. The valve to the pipeline from Detroit, which had been providing Flint its water, was closed. The temporary switchover is scheduled to support the city's water needs for the next two years while construction of a pipeline from Lake Huron in completed by the Karegnondi Water Authority. Officials from the City of Flint, the Genesee County Drain Commission and Michigan Department of Environmental Quality were all on hand to witness the historic event.
The Flint River had previously been the primary source of water for residents up until the 1960s when a deal was reached with the City of Detroit to provide water. The Flint River has also been used for residential water as recently as 2009 when a temporary switchover had taken place.
Leading up to the switch, numerous studies and tests had been conducted on the water by several independent organizations. Michael Prysby, from the Michigan DEQ Office of Drinking Water, verified that "the quality of water being put out meets all of our drinking water standards and Flint water is safe to drink." The City of Flint will also continually test the water being provided to residents.
Rebecca Fedewa, director of the Flint River Watershed Coalition, a group that has been dedicated to monitoring the overall welfare of local bodies of water also agreed with the DEQ assessment saying "the Flint River is increasingly healthy and completely suitable as a drinking water source." The FRWC is also inviting city residents to take part in their monitoring exercises this spring as a way to gain firsthand knowledge of the health and vitality of the Flint River.
Flint Mayor Dayne Walling who was on hand for the event invited everyone to toast to Flint's water saying it's regular, good, pure drinking water that's right in our backyard and "this is the first step in the right direction for Flint, as we take this monumental step forward in controlling the future of our community's most precious resource."