FLINT, Mich. (AP) — Michigan's Genesee County is planning to build a connector to the Karegnondi Water Authority pipeline in order to start treating Lake Huron water and allow the city of Flint to continue receiving Detroit water.
The county Water and Waste Services Advisory Board voted in support of the 7-mile connector Wednesday, the Flint Journal (http://bit.ly/2n2XsEs ) reported.
The connector would make it possible for Flint to keep buying pre-treated water from the Great Lake Water Authority until at least 2019. The county could then focus on treating raw Lake Huron water this year.
The connector construction is expected to begin in May and cost at least $12 million. County Drain Commissioner Jeff Wright said the county would have to otherwise spend over $60 million to use the Great Lake Water Authority water while waiting for Flint to decide on future permanent water sources.
"The huge amount of money we currently pay (to GLWA) has always been intended to (be used to) pay our bond debt," Wright said. "This puts us back on track to pay our bond debt. (This) protects the county and gives the city the time to make a decision" on its short- and long-term water supply.
Meanwhile, Flint officials have been developing plans to replace lead service lines and increase the number of water department employees. The development plans follow a Flint water crisis that left transmission lines damaged after a failed 17-month attempt to use the Flint River as the city's water source. The effort caused lead to seep from transmission pipes and home plumbing into tap water.
Information from: The Flint Journal, http://www.mlive.com/flint