Flint, MI– The City of Flint announced they will begin incrementally increasing use of the recently completed secondary water supply pipeline early next week.

In order to test the secondary pipeline, and complete valve repairs on the primary pipeline, the City will soon begin gradually incorporating more and more water from the secondary pipeline.

Having a secondary pipeline—Flint’s was completed a few weeks ago—is required by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to be used in case of an emergency. It is connected to the Genesee County Drain Commission while the primary pipeline is connected to the Great Lakes Water Authority delivery system. They both use Lake Huron as the water source.

According to an Aug. 16 press release from the city, the secondary water pipeline was tested for bacteria traces over the weekend, Aug. 14 and 15, and no bacteria was detected after multiple testing periods.

On Aug. 17, project officials reviewed the secondary pipeline to make a determination about when the project could be approved to begin. The earliest estimated start date before their review was Aug. 18, but the officials have decided to give it an additional week. 

According to an Aug. 17 press release from the city, the push to next week is to “allow for more monitoring and review of the pipeline connection work.”

If everything is approved, and the project begins next week,  this would mean the City’s water delivery system would move to being 95% from GLWA, and 5% from GCDC. That percentage GCDC would then increase over time until the City is using 100% GCDC, so work can begin on the primary water pipeline. 

During a special Flint City Council meeting on Aug. 13, the Director of the Department of Public Works Michael Brown said the project was expected to be completed by the first or second week of December, if it began Aug. 18. 

Monitoring will take place during this time, and the results will be posted on the EPA’s “Taking Action on Flint Water” website at www.michigan.gov/flintwater.

Amy Diaz is a journalist hailing from St. Petersburg, FL. She has written for multiple local newspapers in her hometown before becoming a full-time reporter for Flint Beat. When she’s not writing you...