Residents share complaints about Flint’s water quality

Associated Press

Flint — Some Flint residents are complaining the city’s water is causing skin problems for some children.

Hundreds of people turned out Tuesday to discuss Flint’s water quality at a meeting with the mayor and City Council. Flint resident Qiana Dawson said her 4-year-old and 2-year-old have broken out in rashes because of the water, resulting in high doctor’s bills.

“You all need to work with me on money,” she said.

LeeAnne Walters said her 3-year-old, who has a compromised immune system, has been suffering from skin problems after bathing in the water.

“We got bad water,” said City Councilman Eric Mays, who hosted the meeting. “If you buy a bad product, you return it for a refund.”

The meeting was held hours after demonstrators gathered outside Flint City Hall to protest water quality and rising bills, the Flint Journal reported.

The city insists the water is safe.

Flint Mayor Dayne Walling said officials need to focus on how to improve the water.

“I’m talking with people about water every single day,” Walling said. “We need to work together as a community, with the cooperation of the state and federal government, to fix this issue.”

Issues with the city’s water supply emerged after Flint stopped buying water from Detroit’s water department. Flint officials this month said they were dealing with elevated levels of a disinfection byproduct.

Flint switched from using Lake Huron as its drinking water source in April. The city plans to use the Flint River as its water source until the end of 2016, when the Karegnondi Water Authority expects to complete construction of a new Lake Huron water pipeline.

Some want Flint to switch back to using Detroit’s water.

Walling has supported the decision by state-appointed emergency manager Darnell Earley to hire a consultant to correct the treatment of water from the Flint River. Gov. Rick Snyder on Tuesday announced Earley would be put in charge of the struggling Detroit Public Schools district.

Earley said last week that going back to Detroit water was cost prohibitive and that the city “can ill-afford to switch course.”