Flint, MI– The city is scheduled to begin using water solely from the secondary water pipeline today, Jan. 18. 

Since August, the city has been incrementally increasing the usage of the secondary pipeline, which is connected to the Genesee County Drain Commission delivery system, in order to test it and complete repairs on the primary pipeline. While increasing GCDC usage, the city has also been incrementally decreasing the usage of the primary pipeline, which is connected to the Great Lakes Water Authority.

Having a secondary pipeline is required by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to be used in case of an emergency., but due to supply chain issues, there have been delays in completing necessary repairs on the primary pipeline, and moving forward the project. 

The fifth phase of the project, which increases GCDC to 100% and decreases GLWA to 0%, was originally planned for the week of Nov. 25. According to a press release from the city, that phase will now begin on Jan. 18. 

The first phase of the project began in August of 2021, when Flint began using 5% of water from GCDC, and 95% of water from GLWA. 

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 Oct. 26, the city increased GCDC usage to 75% and lowered GLWA usage to 25%. 

As a result of the delays in moving to the fifth phase, the city, in consultation with EGLE and the EPA decided to return to the third phase (50% GCDC and 50% GLWA) on Dec. 13. 

As the incremental increase moves forward, so will the necessary repair work on Control Station #2. 

According to the press release, repair work on this station includes valve replacement, and automating and modernizing equipment for the primary water pipeline system. This work is scheduled to begin the week of Jan. 24, and should “take about a month.”

Once the repair work is done, the city will begin incrementally increasing use of the primary pipeline again, until it is at 5% GCDC and 95% GLWA. 

The city will continue to use 5% of the water from GCDC to ensure 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...