Last year, water service from the Detroit Water & Sewerage Department (DWSD) to the City of Flint was terminated in anticipation of Flint receiving tap water from the Karegnondi Water Authority (KWA), a creation of Genesee County’s drain commissioner. KWA’s pipeline from Lake Huron was then (and still is) under construction. The project is expected to be completed by June 2016.
During the interim, Flint has been processing water from the Flint River. Flint residents have complained about the taste, smell and appearance of the treated river water. There have been occasions when state inspectors have found the water to be below federal standards. The city contends that the water is safe to drink.
(A group of residents asked a federal judge in Flint to order the city to reconnect to the Detroit water system, but this past June the judge refused.)
KWA announced last month that it had awarded a contract to begin construction of a water treatment plant near the Genesee-Lapeer border to tie into the new pipeline.
With KWA’s water system scheduled to be completed in a year or less, the prospect of a new source of water for communities in northern Oakland and Macomb counties arises. While DWSD’s successor, the regional Great Lakes Water Authority, continues to operate more, costly water treatment plants than it needs, the possibility of less expensive water from KWA will be tempting; and due diligence requires that the potential for savings be examined.