State plans Flint water filter giveaway Tuesday

Gary Heinlein
The Detroit News

Lansing — Starting Tuesday, free water filters will be available to Flint residents who are worried about lead contamination and other concerns, the state Department of Health and Human Services announced Monday.

The filters are being provided as part of Gov. Rick Snyder’s administration’s response to rising fears of lead contamination in the water reaching Flint homes, particularly in its low-income neighborhoods. Test results have shown rising lead levels in the blood of children.

Clients can obtain free filters at the 125 E. Union St. or 4809 Clio Road Health and Human Services offices, officials said.

Residents not currently enrolled in the department’s assistance programs should visit the Genesee County Community Action Resource Department offices at 2727 Lippincott and 601 North Saginaw in Flint for filters.

Staff will be at all four locations from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, to distribute filters and assist residents who have questions about proper installation, officials said.

For a year and a half, Flint has drawn its drinking water from the Flint River — an arrangement that has led to major problems for residents. Snyder has said additional steps could include a temporary reconnection of Flint to the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department system.

The state will also work to expedite construction of a new water line to Lake Huron so a planned water authority that would service Flint could get up and running as soon as possible.

Flint residents who are clients of the Family Independence Program, Food Assistance Program, Child Development and Care, State Disability Assistance or Social Security Insurance programs should bring valid identification and a copy of their water bill to get their filters, officials said.

Flint residents who are not department clients should bring identification and a water bill to a Community Action Resource Department office.