Flint, MI–  The city is scheduled to begin the next incremental increase of water use from the secondary water pipeline next Tuesday, Oct. 26.

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 third phase began on Oct. 11, increasing GCDC usage to 50%, and lowering GLWA usage to 50%.

On Monday, Oct. 25, the GCDC transmission line will be flushed to clear the water pipelines for the next phase of blending. The next day, on Oct. 26, the city is scheduled to increase GCDC usage to 75% and lower GLWA usage to 25%.

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.”

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...