Flint, MI– The city of Flint is tentatively set to use solely the secondary water pipeline next week, bringing the water infrastructure project closer to completion.

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.

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. 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.

Though the delivery systems are different, both pipelines use Lake Huron as the water source.

For the first phase of the project, which began in August, 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%, which is what the water blend is currently. 

According to a press release from the city sent on Nov. 18, the fifth phase of the project is set to begin the week of Nov. 22. In this phase, the city will increase GCDC usage to 100% and temporarily stop GLWA usage. 

With the city using 100% GCDC, workers can make repairs on the primary pipeline. According to the release, “only cosmetic, debris cleanup and similar punch-list tasks remain.”

The project is set to be completed “around the beginning of the year 2022.” Once the repair work is complete, the city will go back to using 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...