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bottled water

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint’s mayor says a top aide to Governor Snyder is willing to wait for more information before considering cutting funding for bottled water distribution in her city.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A top city official admits there has been a “learning curve” after the city of Flint took over bottled water distribution from the state two months ago.

Flint distributes more than 65,000 cases of bottled water a week, comparable to what the state was doing before it handed the job over to the city in September. The city is working with local churches, the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan and United Way of Genesee County to manage the water distribution program.  

bottle of water
Wilson Hui / Flickr / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

A new bill introduced into the Michigan Legislature would impose a 5 cent per gallon fee on bottled water.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Mayor Karen Weaver’s office announced a plan Wednesday to continue bottled water distribution in Flint for the foreseeable future.

Four delivery sites will continue to serve the roughly 2,100 Flint residents with mobility issues or limited access to transportation. Ten pickup locations will also be accessible.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

There are fewer places for Flint residents to get free bottled water these days.

In August, Flint’s seven water distribution centers handed out 11,061 cases of bottled water a day. That's nearly 300,000 cases for the entire month. 

But just after Labor Day, the state closed three of the centers. Of the nine original sites, only four remain, located in different quadrants of the city.   

Bottled water.
John McDonnell / flickr http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Back in January of this year, when I first decided to embark on reporting about bottled water in Michigan, I had literally no idea what I was in for. That’s probably a good thing, because I plowed ahead naively optimistic and enthusiastic.

bottle of water
Wilson Hui / Flickr / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Michigan environmental regulators have told a bottled water company to re-evaluate how its proposal to withdraw 210 million gallons of groundwater annually would impact local wetlands, streams and natural springs.

A worker in a bright-green vest loads bottled water into a silver SUV.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

City and state officials will talk about the future of bottled water distribution centers in Flint Wednesday morning.

A trip to the neighborhood distribution center has become a regular chore for many people in Flint since the city’s tap water became contaminated with lead.

But things are changing.

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver, along with local pastors, met with Governor Snyder on Tuesday.

Wednesday, Weaver and the state officials responsible for the state’s water distribution effort will announce the “next steps” in the program.

bottle of water
Wilson Hui / Flickr / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

A zoning appeals board has dealt another setback to a bottled-water company that wants to pump more groundwater in western Michigan.

Nestle Waters North America had appealed the Osceola Township Planning Commission's decision in April to deny a request for a permit to build a new pumping station. MLive.com reports a zoning appeals board on Tuesday let that denial stand.

People loading cases of bottled water into an SUV
steve carmody / Michigan Radio

All nine state water distribution sites will remain open for at least another month in Flint.

A settlement of a lawsuit gave the state the option to close two of the sites starting in May.

But Mission Flint spokeswoman Tiffany Brown says the number of people picking up cases of bottled water at each of the sites is still high enough to warrant keeping them open.

Brown says Flint residents would receive plenty of notice if the decision to close one or more the sites is made. 

bottle of water
Wilson Hui / Flickr / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Officials have denied a request for a permit to build a new pumping station by a bottled-water company that wants to pump more groundwater in western Michigan.

The Osceola Township Planning Commission on Tuesday night denied granting Nestle Waters North America the permit for the pipeline booster station at Spring Hill Camp. It's part of the company's proposal to withdraw up to 400 gallons per minute from a well in Osceola County.

Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

About 500 people showed up to a public hearing in Big Rapids hosted by Michigan’s Department of Environmental Quality last night. Almost every one of them spoke against Nestle’s plan to pump 400 gallons of water a minute to sell under the company’s Ice Mountain bottled water brand. 

Michigan Radio mapped 49 bottled water facilities in Michigan. An interactive version is below.
Kaye LaFond / Michigan Radio

Tomorrow evening at 7pm, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality is holding a public hearing on a request from Nestle Waters. 

Bottles of water
Flickr user Daniel Orth / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

The public has more time to comment on a bottled water company's plan to pump more groundwater out of a West Michigan aquifer

Nestle Waters North America wants to increase the amount of water it's pumping from a well in Osceola County from 250 per minute to 400 gallons per minute.

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality says it’s waiting for Nestle to respond to a request for additional information. The state says it expects a response by March 16.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The state will stop subsidizing Flint water bills this month.

When will the state stop distributing bottled water? 

People in Flint still make daily or weekly trips to the city’s water distribution sites to pick up cases of bottled water. 

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver says she’s heard discussions of ending bottled water distribution by September, which she says is too soon. 

“We know we still need bottled water,” says Weaver, “If we still need to use filters, we still need bottled water as well.”

Small Mich. city hopes water problems will soon be solved

Jan 24, 2017
Steve Depolo / Flickr Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Rust-colored water that smells like rotten eggs has been coming out of some faucets in the city of Leslie since 2013, according to Leslie city manager Aaron Desentz.

And the city has delivered bottled water for three years to about 50 of its 750 water customers, at a cost of about $9,000, while it has searched for a solution to the problem.

"People do rely on the bottled water, typically for their drinking needs, if they're having these problems," said  Desentz.

Bottled water.
John McDonnell / flickr http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

A Michigan department needs to do more to follow its own regulations on bottled water inspection.

That was the message of an audit released today by the Office of the Auditor General. The report found that the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development did not always perform timely inspections of water bottles and places with water dispensing machines.

The Swiss corporation, Nestle, wants to increase how much water it takes from a well in Evart, Michigan.
cmh2315fl / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The Swiss corporation Nestle wants to increase how much water it takes from a well in Evart, Michigan.
The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality used a computer modeling program called the Water Withdrawal Assessment Tool to assess the potential effect of an increase.

For many Flint residents, trips to a nearby water distribution center is a regular part of life.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals says the state must start delivering bottled water to households in Flint that don’t have working filters.

Andrew Pennebaker / creative commons http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The state of Michigan is asking a judge to drop an order that requires water delivery in Flint for residents who don't have a filter.

In a court filing Tuesday, the state says tests show Flint water is in compliance with federal standards for lead. Separately, Virginia Tech expert Marc Edwards says his tests also show significant improvement.

Still, the state and Edwards both say residents should not drink unfiltered tap water.

National Guardsmen delivered bottled water in Flint earlier this year.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Here we are at the one-year anniversary of the declaration of emergency in Flint, and we’re in the midst of an all-out tug-of-war between the state of Michigan and federal judge David Lawson.

Twice now, Judge Lawson has ordered the state to deliver bottled water to certain Flint residents.

But the state continues to fight that order.

Many Flint residents still rely on bottled water.
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

A federal judge says the state must start weekly deliveries of bottled water to Flint residents who do not have properly installed or maintained filters.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan officials are fighting a court order to start delivering bottled water directly to some Flint homes.

But local activists say that water is needed now, even as the case is appealed to a higher court.

Earlier this month, federal judge David Lawson ordered the state and the city of Flint to deliver cases of bottled water to homes without working water filters.  The filters are needed to screen out lead in the drinking water.

Fifteen years ago, a group called Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation sued Nestle Waters North America, a division of the huge international conglomerate, over its plans to withdraw vast amounts of groundwater in Osceola County in Northwest Michigan.

Nestle wanted to siphon 400 gallons a minute from the aquifer, to bottle and sell at a profit. The environmentalists were concerned about what this would do to nearby rivers, streams, and ultimately, Lake Michigan. After years of legal wrangling, they came to a compromise in 2009.

Courtesy Nan Palmero / Creative Commons -- http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

On Monday, federal authorities approved federal and state funding to help with led abatement in Flint. 

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) approved a Michigan State Plan Amendment (SPA) aiming to reduce and eliminate hazardous lead in homes in or near Flint — according to a press release.

Lauren Luci / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Americans love their bottled water.

Statistics from the Beverage Marketing Corporation tell us that while sales of soft drinks, fruit drinks, sports drinks – even milk – have dropped over the past 15 years, sales of bottled water are booming.

In 2015, Americans guzzled nearly 12 billion gallons of bottle water. That’s a big jump from the 4.5 billion gallons we drank in 2000.

All that demand means Swiss corporation Nestle wants to pump more water out of the ground in West Michigan. It wants to increase pumping from 250 to 400 gallons a minute at one of its wells near Evart in Osceola County.

And the public nearly missed its chance to comment on the proposal.

Wilson Hui / Flickr

Nestle owns a water bottling plant in Stanwood, Michigan, north of Grand Rapids. It bottles spring water for its Ice Mountain and Pure Life brands.

The company wants to increase the amount of water it pulls out of the ground at one of its wells. The well is about 35 miles north of Stanwood in Evart, Michigan. To do that, it needs a permit from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, and the public is supposed to weigh in on whether the company should get that permit.

But a lot of people didn’t hear about it – until it was almost too late.

Bottles of water
Flickr user Daniel Orth / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

When the Flint water disaster exploded, the state began sending emergency supplies to the city: millions and millions of dollars worth of bottled water, filters and cartridges.

Detroit Free Press reporter Paul Egan's front-page story this week suggests the state overpaid for those supplies, to the tune of hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars. Egan found that instead of using a formal bidding process, the State went directly to Georgia-based Home Depot to buy the supplies. And it failed to seriously seek bids from  Michigan companies.

Ann Arbor water bills might increase. Here's why.

Oct 4, 2016
water faucet
Laura Nawrocik / Flickr http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Ann Arbor residents might see an increase in their water bills over the next few years to fund a project that will help continue disinfecting and filtering water. 

In conjunction with Ann Arbor's capital improvement plan, the city will recommend replacing pre-treatment basins, which help disinfect, filter and soften drinking water.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A pastor says donations of bottled water to his Flint church have dried up in the past month.

Donations poured in from across the nation in the weeks and months after it was learned that Flint's drinking water was contaminated with lead. At times, the response nearly overwhelmed the effort to distribute water to Flint residents.  

Bishop Roger Lee Jones’ north side church parking lot used to be filled with pallets of water, but now the flood of donations has slowed to a trickle. 

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