FLINT, Mich. (WWJ/AP) – A Michigan State Police official says people from outside Flint appear to be loading up on free bottled water.

Capt. Chris Kelenske says it might be time to require identification at the nine distribution sites in Flint. He says he has a “lot of anecdotal evidence” that non-residents are taking water following the struggling city’s water crisis.

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Kelenske said more water is being distributed now than ever — a daily average of 21,500 cases in late July. Free water has been available since fall 2014 when Gov. Rick Snyder’s administration finally acknowledged that Flint’s water system was tainted by lead.

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The city’s water was deemed undrinkable after it became contaminated when Flint switched from the Detroit water system to the Flint River as a cost-cutting move. The corrosive water lacked adequate treatment and caused lead to leach from old pipes.

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Flint has since stopped using the Flint River and returned to a Detroit regional system, and experts have been saying for months that the water is safe to drink as long as it’s filtered.

About a dozen current or former state employees or appointees have been charged in connection with the Flint Water debacle, including two high-ranking members of Gov. Rick Snyder’s administration.

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