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Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) said the state will cover Flint residents’ water bills throughout this month to encourage them to flush out water pipes in an effort to return water quality to normal faster.
“The state will cover 100 percent of the cost of water people use in May to help offset the extra usage for flushing pipes,” Snyder said. “Flushing the pipes is essential for restoring the city’s water system and increasing the water quality in every home.”
State and independent water quality experts are urging Flint residents and businesses to turn on water faucets at high volume for five minutes twice daily for at least the next two weeks to help remove particulate lead that continues to contribute to spiked lead levels throughout the city. Doing so is also expected to help move the water additive orthophosphate – which experts say will help stop lead from leaching from pipes into the drinking water - through the system more effectively.
The program went into effect on May 1, but participation has so far been sparse. The process has been hampered because residents remain wary of the tainted water. Mark Durno, the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s on-site coordinator, said it could be June before officials know if the flushing campaign has worked.
State and federal officials both said the city’s water quality has improved, but that all water should still be filtered before drinking. Pregnant or nursing mothers and kids under age 6 should continue to drink only bottled water. (DETROIT FREE PRESS, MLIVE.COM, CLICKONDETROIT.COM)