Flint mayor proposes staying on Detroit water supply

Flint mayor proposes staying on Detroit water supply
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The mayor of Flint, Mich., is proposing the city stay connected to the Great Lakes Water Authority rather than switch to treating its own water supply. 

Mayor Karen Weaver announced on Tuesday that she would recommend the city become a full-time customer of the authority in light of a drinking water crisis in her city, the Flint Journal reports

The city has been using treated water from the Great Lakes Water Authority, which supplies Detroit, since December 2015, after officials discovered Flint’s water supply was going untreated.

Flint was a former long-term customer of the authority, but in 2013, officials decided to join a county-wide system that was set to draw and treat drinking water from Lake Huron.

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Before that system became operational, a state-appointed emergency manager ordered the cash-strapped city to draw water from the Flint River instead of remaining in the Detroit authority. 

But Flint didn’t properly treat that water, which turned out to be corrosive and caused lead to leach into the city's drinking water supply. 

That created a public health crisis in the city and spurred a national controversy. The city decided in late 2015 to return to the Detroit system while deciding on its next drinking water source. 

Weaver had previously supported using a local water treatment plant for the city’s water supply. But environmental regulators pressured the city to prove it could do so safely, and Weaver reversed course on Tuesday.