FLINT (WWJ/AP) – The head of Flint’s water pipe replacement program says the city hopes to finish the project in 2019.
Retired National Guard Brig. Gen. Michael McDaniel coordinates the FAST Start initiative to replace lines that leached lead into homes and businesses. He made his comments during the first day of a three-day water infrastructure conference in Flint.
He says they hope to replace pipes to 6,000 homes this year. The city has said at least 30,000 homes may have service lines that need replacement. Residents still are being urged to use water filters.
Flint was under state control when it switched from Detroit’s water system to the Flint River in 2014 to save money. The river water was not properly treated to prevent pipe corrosion.
Elevated levels of lead, a neurotoxin, were detected in children, and 12 people died in a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak that experts suspect was linked to the improperly treated water.
In January this year, officials said Flint’s water system no longer had levels of lead exceeding the federal limit. Residents, however, are urged to continue using faucet filters or bottled water because an ongoing mass replacement of pipes could spike lead levels in individual houses.
© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.