(03/12/14) - If you live in Flint, big changes are coming to the water that
comes out of your faucet.
The city will soon be getting its water supply from the Flint River. Construction just started at the water treatment plant.
Right now, Flint gets its water through Detroit from Lake Huron. They use the Flint River as an emergency back up - but that's all going to change.
Flint's rates from Detroit have been climbing higher. They've been paying about $12 million to Detroit every year.
So Flint, along with several local communities, decided to build their own pipeline to Lake Huron. Their goal is to eventually stabilize water rates in the area.
That group is called the KWA, or the Karegondi Water Authority.
Because of this, Detroit terminated their contract with Flint, effective next month.
The KWA pipeline won't be complete until 2016, so in the mean time, Flint needs a new plan for water.
They're making $7 million in upgrades to their water treatment center so the city can use the Flint River for the next two to three years, until the pipeline is complete.
"All the upgrades we do will be so that we can meet that standard and consistently run on this river for the next few years," said Howard Croft, Flint DPW Director.
Those upgrades just started. Wednesday, the city held a groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate the re-birth of the water plant.
"The water quality is very good and we've tested the water from the plant on multiple times," said Flint Mayor Dayne Walling.
The city will be saving money this way, but don't expect a lower water bill -
the savings will be put back into the water infrastructure.
"Over the next few years the savings that we're getting from not sending a check to Detroit is being invested back in the plant," Walling said.
City councilman Wantwaz Davis wants to see those savings go to Flint residents.
"If we're using our own water we should be able to lower our water rates because now we can control how the bill is supposed to be paid," Davis said.
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