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Michigan Ending Free Bottled Water for Flint This Week

Bre’Anna Tinsley/WDET

The state of Michigan is ending deliveries of free bottled water to residents in Flint whose drinking supply was contaminated by lead.

 Flint officials and members of Congress say residents still depend on bottled water for cooking and bathing.

The announcement came only days before the state reportedly agreed to spend $4 million to pay for screening up to 30,000 children in Flint to see if they need health or special education services because of exposure to lead.

The money comes from a partial settlement of a federal lawsuit filed against the state and two school districts on behalf of some children and parents in the city.

Courtesy of PBS

Gov. Rick Snyder says in a statement Michigan will close the bottled water distribution centers in Flint when supplies run out this week because the city’s water meets federal safety standards.

But some Flint residents counter they have used as many as 40 cases of bottled water a week since 2015.

That’s when the state admitted briefly switching to using the Flint River without properly treating pipes caused taps to be tainted by lead.

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver went to a distribution center after Snyder’s announcement that was flooded with people who say they cannot afford bottled water on their own.

 

We know that (Flint’s) water has gotten better. But we’re talking about a city that has been through a crisis and we’re trying to rebuild trust.

Flint’s also scheduled to soon resume replacing old pipes, which could knock flakes of lead back into the water supply. 

More than a dozen people face criminal charges in connection with the decision to switch Flint’s water supply and the state’s actions afterwards.

 

Here’s Flint Mayor Karen Weaver at a bottled water distribution center in the city as residents absorbed the news that it would soon close.

Image credit: Bre'Anna Tinsley/ WDET

About the Author

Quinn Klinefelter

Senior News Editor

I grab news in the morning, check the papers and the wires, call sources and take a big gulp of coffee. That’s how I start the day.

qklinefelter@wdet.org  

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