Flint mayor says water switch 'too risky' after lead crisis

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Flint Mayor Karen Weaver announced Tuesday she is recommending the city stay with the Great Lakes Water Authority as its primary water source.

Should Weaver commit to continued use of water from the Great Lakes Water Authority, it will likely be a blow to the KWA, which is partially built using Flint's emergency bonding authority under state-appointed emergency managers, an act now the subject of an investigation by state Attorney General Bill Schuette.

Last June, Weaver — who was elected after the crisis exploded — reluctantly announced that the city of 100,000 residents would still switch to the Karegnondi Water Authority pipeline after the system was ready, even though she had threatened to break the agreement before concluding it would have been too hard. But she reevaluated that decision as a condition of receiving $100 million in federal funding to address the man-made disaster. The city changed to the GLWA in 2015 when officials discovered that Flint's water was full of lead.

After three years of confusion and chaos, Flint, Mich., residents may go back to the water source they used before lead contamination showed up in their drinking water.

Karen Weaver will make the announcement Tuesday. City officials didn't immediately treat the river water to ensure it didn't corrode pipes.

The city of Flint, Michigan is trying to determine from where it should receive its water in the future.

Using Flint River water was characterized as a temporary switch until the city's pipeline connecting to the Karegnondi Water Authority was complete.

Staying with the GLWA also keeps the city from having to switch its water supply, which is finally meeting federal water quality levels.

There will be a 30-day public comment after which officials hope the city council will approve the deal.

The decision will be finalized in a few weeks after the city hears from the public in a town hall on April 20.

Bob Kaplan, acting regional director for the Environmental Protection Agency in Chicago, said the agreement is the "best long-term solution".

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