End of bottled water worries 12,000 Flint homeowners waiting for pipe replacement

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FLINT (WJRT) (4/9/2018) - Zetan Evans has been using a water filter on her sink since the water emergency began in Flint. She only uses that water to clean her dishes.

The area in yellow has not seen pipe replacement, yet. The City says there are still 12,000 Flint homes on their list.

Otherwise, Evans grabs a bottle of water.

"I use it for drinking. I use it for brushing my teeth. I use it for washing my food down," she explained.

Because Evans lead service lines haven't been replaced yet.

"They haven’t been anywhere in this neighborhood to do anything. Nothing. Absolutely nothing," Evans said.

With state and federal funds, the city has been replacing lead or galvanized pipes at Flint homes since February 2016. But 12,000 homes are still on the list. Those residents, like Evans, rely heavily on the water distribution sites.

When she found out the state is cutting off her free supply of bottled water soon, Evans went with her daughter to a POD -- or point of distribution -- over the weekend to stock up.

"Oh, Lord. You would’ve thought it was a funeral procession. There were so many people, so many people," she said.

Evans was only able to get one case to add to her stash. She has stocked up over the past few months, but Evans said no case lasts long.

"We do a lot with this bottled water -- a lot," Evans said. "So, I don’t know how the government can say they’re gonna cut this out. There’s a need for it, so why cut this out as long as people are going and getting this water?"

Phase 5 of the city's pipe replacement program is expected to begin as soon as the snow melts. But, even when Evans' pipes are taken care of, she isn’t sure she’ll trust her tap.

"I just have to wait and see," she said.

The Food Bank of Eastern Michigan is in charge of distributing the cases of water. Monday, they said they received a shipment earlier in the day. The agency is also expecting one Tuesday.

A shipment is anywhere between three and 15 trucks, but food bank officials could not say exactly how much was expected.

With the end of water distribution, the state will be saving more than $650,000 a month.



 
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