- Flint City Council approves $2 million for return to Detroit water system
- Water from Flint River contained toxic levels of lead
The Flint City Council approved a resolution Monday to appropriate $2 million of city funds to facilitate a switch back to Detroit's water supply. That amount is a portion of the $12 million that will be required to fund the project; $6 million in state funds and $4 million from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation
will cover the rest, according to City Council secretary Davina Donahue.
A year ago, the city of more than 100,000 people began drawing its water from the Flint River instead of Lake Huron via Detroit's water system. The change was meant to be a temporary, cost-cutting measure as the city prepared to access Great Lakes water on its own, according to CNN affiliate WDIV-TV. After residents complained about the strangely colored water, studies showed it was highly corrosive to lead piping, releasing more than 10 times more lead into the city's taps than the previous water supply.
The situation became so severe that the city's public schools stopped running water for taps and water fountains for students,
according to CNN affiliate WEYI-TV. The move came followed a study by a local hospital discovering that the percentage of Flint children with elevated lead levels nearly doubled after the city stopped using the Detroit water system, the TV station reported.
The city distributed more than 6,000 water filters to residents, and nonprofit organizations also stepped in to provide safe water for residents.
A public health emergency was declared this month after Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder acknowledged that "it appears that (water) lead levels could be higher or have increased," according to an advisory the Genesee County Board of Commissioners issued.
The City Council resolution said the funds for the switch will be appropriated "as soon as possible."