Water to start flowing from the KWA pipeline to Genesee County soon

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LAPEER COUNTY (WJRT) (11/21/17) Thousands of Genesee County water customers will soon be drinking water from the Karegnondi Water Authority pipeline.

The new plant is nearly ready to pump out the treated water from Lake Huron.

The man who has been the driving force behind the KWA project says they're using the same water source as the Great Lakes Water Authority, which is Lake Huron. They're using the same treatment process and the same amounts of chlorine and phosphate.

"I personally don't believe that you'll be able to taste the difference, but some might be able to that have a very sensitive palate," said Genesee County Drain Commissioner Jeff Wright.

The KWA held an open house Tuesday to show off their treatment plant. This is the facility that will treat the KWA water for Genesee County water customers outside the city of Flint.

Soon, some valves will be opened and KWA will start flowing to customers.

"We'll actually start pushing this treated water through the plant by this coming weekend," said Wright.

There will be 72-hour public notice given before the switch from the Great Lakes Water Authority happens. Using KWA water should help water bills stabilize for customers outside the city of Flint.

"What we're able to do is guarantee no more double-digit rate increases annually," said Wright.

Seventeen townships, cities and villages are under contract to use KWA water, all in Genesee County. Other communities in Sanilac and Lapeer Counties could join next year.

The water in the pipeline is untreated until it reaches the Genesee County water plant, which is in Lapeer County's Oregon Township. Businesses along the way that would prefer the raw water will be able to tap in.

"We can bring them high quality water that they can use at 10 cents on the dollar of what they can buy treated water for. We think that's going to be a big deal for the area," said Wright.

The idea for the KWA project actually started 12 years ago, but groundbreaking happened more than four years ago. The pipeline cost just under $300 million and the treatment plant comes in at $100 million.

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