Flint, MI–  The city is scheduled to begin the next incremental increase of water use from the secondary water pipeline today, Oct. 11.

In August, Flint began using 5% of water from the secondary pipeline, which is connected to the Genesee County Drain Commission delivery system, and 95% of water from the primary pipeline, which is connected to the Great Lakes Water Authority.

On Sept. 30, the city bumped GCDC usage up to 25%, and lowered GLWA usage to 75%. 

The next increase, Phase III, is set to begin on Monday, Oct. 11. It would increase GCDC usage up to 50%, and lower GLWA usage to 50%, as well. 

Having a secondary pipeline—Flint’s was completed recently—is required by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to be used in case of an emergency. Both pipelines use Lake Huron as the water source.

Since the secondary pipeline has been completed, the city is required to test it. In order to do that, and also complete valve repairs on the primary pipeline, the city has begun gradually incorporating more water from the secondary pipeline. This will continue until the city is on 100% GCDC, so repairs on the GLWA pipeline can take place.

According to a press release from the city from Aug. 13, the repairs will also include “automating and modernizing the primary water pipeline system equipment.”

Once the repair work is complete, the city will go back to using 5% GCDC and 95% GLWA, and stay there, said the city’s Director of Communications Melissa Brown. Brown said the city “will always have 5% of the water with GCDC to make sure the line stays ready in case of an emergency.”

On Sept. 29, the city announced in a press release that “pipe alignment repairs at the treatment plant have been completed,” and “permits have been secured allowing electric service to be installed to vaults at the Frances Rd project.”

On Oct. 8, the city announced that the transmission line from GCDC will be flushed on Oct. 9, to “clear the water pipelines,” before Phase III begins. Valve and meter calibration upgrades have also been completed. Residents can view the water monitoring data on the State of Michigan’s 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...