Flint — Detroit water officials have offered Flint an alternative to using river water as the city continues to deal with its troubled municipal system.

The Flint Journal reported Wednesday the Detroit Water & Sewerage Department says it would provide full service to Flint until a new water authority finishes a pipeline to Lake Huron. Detroit also could provide backup service afterward.

Flint gets water from the Flint River, but residents complain about the smell, taste and appearance and report health problems. Flint cut ties last year with Detroit’s system.

City Council President Josh Freeman says the river is Flint’s backup system and isn’t interested in re-establishing ties with Detroit.

Flint officials say the water now is safe. The federal government had cited Flint for high levels of a disinfectant by-product.

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