WUOMFM

great lakes water authority

There are lead service lines in older communities across Michigan. Because of their age and population size, it’s fair to say the bulk of Michigan’s lead service lines are in cities in Southeast Michigan.

I spent a lot of time trying to determine which Detroit suburbs have lead service lines and how many. I wanted to see how far out into the suburbs lead was found in underground water pipes.

Flint City Clerk Inez Brown administers the oath of office to the new Flint city council members.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

“I do solemnly swear,” intoned City Clerk Inez Brown, as she led the nine members of the Flint city council through their oath of office.

The new city council were sworn in today at noon. Five of the nine council members are new to the job.  Last week, Flint voters ousted a majority of incumbents from the panel.   

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver suggests voters wanted the new blood on the council to move beyond old arguments.

City of Flint emblem
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

At noon today, the new Flint city council is sworn in. It could signal a change in the city’s long debate over where its tap water should come from.

Last week, Flint voters elected five new people to the city council. They replace five council members who have fought, in court and out, against signing a 30-year contract with the Great Lakes Water Authority.   Flint has been getting its tap water from the authority on a temporary contract since it turned off the tap to the Flint River.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Update 9:30 p.m.

A federal judge has denied the state’s request to give Flint’s mayor the power to sign a 30-year water contract before she faces a recall election next week.

The Flint city council has fought against the deal with the Great Lakes Water Authority. 

Mayor Karen Weaver supports the deal, but she faces a recall election next Tuesday. 

Judge David Lawson agreed to consider the state’s request, but not before the recall.   The judge scheduled a hearing on the state’s motion for November 13. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Tuesday afternoon, a state oversight board is expected to vote on allowing the city of Flint to enter into another 30-day contract with the Great Lakes Water Authority.

The Receivership Transition Advisory Board meets at 2 p.m. in Lansing.   

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver hopes the board acts in the city’s financial and public health interests. Though Weaver admits she is tired of Flint’s future being decided by outside groups.

GLWA crews install new pipe at site of broken water main on Wednesday.
Great Lakes Water Authority / via Twitter

The mandatory boil water advisory affecting more than 300,000 Oakland County residents won’t be lifted Friday as originally planned.

The Great Lakes Water Authority says it’s made “great progress” repairing the broken water transmission main that caused system pressure drop, prompting the boil water advisory to be issued early Tuesday.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A federal judge may rule soon on whether to give the Flint city council more time decide on a future drinking water source for the city.

Tuesday, attorneys for the state of Michigan and city of Flint filed responses to a motion from the Flint city council asking for a delay in an order that it decide on a water source.

flint mayor karen weaver
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint's mayor is rejecting the city council’s proposed solution to the city’s future drinking water needs.

Monday night, the Flint city council approved a two-year extension of its current temporary contract with the Great Lakes Water Authority.  

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver says she does “not believe a two-year extension is a viable solution.” 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The Flint city council is getting a little more time to consider where the city’s drinking water should come from.

A federal judge had ordered the city council to make a decision on a future water source by today.     But that deadline has slipped.

U.S. District Judge David Lawson is giving attorneys for the state and Flint city council until tomorrow to respond to a motion filed Sunday by the council seeking a delay.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint city council members are assessing their options now that a federal judge has told them the time has come to decide the city’s long-term tap water source. 

Flint has been getting its drinking water from the Great Lakes Water Authority since the fall of 2015.   Flint’s mayor and state government officials agreed to a 30-year contract to keep the water flowing. But Flint council members have balked.

Their main concern is about rising future costs.

gavel
steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A federal judge is tired of waiting for officials to choose the city of Flint’s long-term drinking water source.

Flint has been getting its drinking water from the Great Lakes Water Authority since the fall of 2015, when the city officially ended the ill-fated experiment of getting its tap water from the Flint River.

For months, a final decision on whether Flint would sign a 30-year contract with the Great Lakes Water Authority has been on hold. Flint’s mayor and state officials signed off on the deal last spring.   

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Monday marks the second anniversary of Flint’s switch back to Detroit water.

October 16th, 2015 was the end of Flint’s experiment with getting its tap water from the Flint River.   

But the ramifications of improperly treated river water continue.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint City Council members are accusing state officials of trying to bully them into signing a 30-year contract for the city’s tap water source.

This week, both sides were in federal court, working with a mediator to reach a deal for the city to continue getting its drinking water from the Great Lakes Water Authority.  

The authority has been providing Flint’s tap water for nearly two years, in the wake of the city’s lead tainted tap water scandal.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The Flint city council voted tonight to extend the city’s tap water contract for another month. 

The council continues to balk at agreeing to a 30-year contract with the Great Lakes Water Authority.

Council President Kerry Nelson says council members remain concerned about future rate hikes.

“Our one goal is to make sure we’re getting the best, affordable, drinkable water there is,” says Nelson.

In June, the state filed a complaint with a federal judge claiming the city is endangering Flint residents by not having a long-term water contract in place.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

With pressure on them building, Flint city council members will sit down with their attorney Tuesday afternoon to discuss their options in their fight against tying the city to a 30-year water deal.

The state and Flint’s mayor support the deal with the Great Lakes Water Authority, under which the city would continue to get its drinking water from southeast Michigan.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

In a sign that the Flint water crisis is possibly nearer its end than the beginning, the state of Michigan is closing more than half of the bottled water distribution centers Flint residents have relied on since the crisis began.

For more than a year, Flint residents have included a stop at their neighborhood distribution center to pick up a case or two or more of bottled water during their errands.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint city council members say the “fix was in” for months before a deal to keep the city on tap water from Detroit was made public.

Councilwoman Kate Fields says she’s obtained an email from a consultant showing the deal with the Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA) was set in February, months before it was announced to the public in April. 

downtown Flint street
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

On Monday,  the Flint City Council decided not to sign a 30-year contract with the Great Lakes Water Authority - at least, not yet. The GLWA is providing Flint's water for now, and it's also Detroit's water source. In the long run, the city could be on the hook for about $600,000 a month in additional if it doesn't sign it. The mayor wanted the deal, but the council didn't.

“Morning Edition” host Doug Tribou and senior political analyst Jack Lessenberry discuss what this means for the future of Flint water. 


A sign that says "City of Flint Municipal Center"
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint city council members say they need more information before they can approve the agreement with the Great Lakes Water Authority. The 30-year deal is part of a broader agreement addressing Flint's water crisis.  The council did approve a three month extension of the current contract instead.  

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint City Council is defying state and federal government officials, as well as the city’s mayor, and is putting off a vote on a drinking water contract for another two weeks.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint’s mayor is the latest to call on the city council to sign-off on a plan to keep Flint’s tap water flowing from Detroit.

Back in April, Flint Mayor Karen Weaver announced she wanted her city to continue to get its tap water from the Great Lakes Water Authority. The agreement has support from various stakeholders, but so far not the Flint city council.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The Flint city council Monday night delayed a vote on extending the contract with the city’s drinking water supplier.

Flint has been getting its tap water from the Great Lakes Water Authority since October, 2015. The switch to GLWA ended an 18-month experiment that had the city get its drinking water from the Flint River, with disastrous results.

Consultant john Young stands in front of his Power Point presentation.
steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint city council members want more information about a deal to keep the city on water from Detroit.

Monday night, council member took turns grilling Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA) CEO Sue McCormick and a consultant hired by the state who's recommending Flint agree to sign a 30-year deal to get its tap water from Detroit. The contract is part of a plan that includes tens of millions of dollars in new investment to repair Flint's broken water system. 

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver (right) stands next to the lead drinking water line that was pulled from a home in Flint.
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

It was April 16 of 2013, almost exactly four years ago, when emergency manager Ed Kurtz signed the contract that switched the city of Flint to the Karegnondi Water Authority (KWA). It was heralded as a cost-cutting move.

That decision led to one of the biggest water contamination crises in American history.

The lead poisoning forced the city to go back to getting its water from the Great Lakes Water Authority, which serves Detroit, until the KWA system was in place.

Photo courtesy of Birmingham Public Schools

The state has proposed an agreement to fix some ongoing problems at Detroit’s wastewater treatment plant.

The consent order from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality cites the Great Lakes Water Authority, which runs the plant, for a number of environmental violations over the past year.

The plant was supposed to stop operating five outdated sewage sludge incinerators in March, 2016. But the GLWA kept using them after a fire seriously damaged new, cleaner replacement equipment that same month.

Area where the boil water advisory was in effect.
City of Detroit

An equipment malfunction at a Great Lakes Water Authority plant has caused parts of Detroit, Hamtramck, and Highland Park to be placed on a boil-water alert.

Cheryl Porter, Chief Operating Officer at the GLWA, says the advisory is a precautionary measure.

"It's not likely that we had an issue but we wanted to be careful and cautious and issue [the advisory] just in case," Porter said.

She says the alert was put in place in response to a water pressure drop. A change in pressure can make pipe water susceptible to bacteria.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The state of Michigan is stopping a pair of financial lifelines that helped Flint residents through the city’s water crisis.

A year ago, Gov. Rick Snyder signed legislation reimbursing Flint residents who were charged for water they could not safely drink. The money has been critical to city efforts to encourage Flint residents to run water through their taps in hopes of facilitating efforts to heal the damage done by improperly treated Flint River water.

Great Lakes Water Authority COO Cheryl Porter explains what cause water to have bad smell and taste.
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Metro Detroit's water authority is assuring people the water is safe to drink after some downriver Detroit-area residents noticed their drinking water tasted or smelled bad.

Despite the odd smell, taste, and in some cases discoloration of the water, the Great Lakes Water Authority has not found any troubling contaminants in the water samples it has tested.

Cheryl Porter, GLWA’s Chief Operating Officer, doesn't know exactly what caused the smell and taste, but said the complaints started after a river basin's biannual cleaning began.

Detroit's Water Works Plant.
Great Lakes Water Authority / Facebook

Residents of Downriver Detroit communities have reported since last week that their tap water smells and tastes like sulfur.

Great Lakes Water Authority officials said the problem has been traced to a temporary spike in water particulates during a routine cleaning of the settling basins at the GLWA's Southwest Water Treatment plant. 

Pages