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Michigan Continues to Battle Water-Related Issues

Flint, Michigan will stay on the Great Lakes Water Authority for at least one more year to allow enough time to construct a new stretch of pipeline that’s necessary for water testing.

The entire state has been dealing with a well-known water crisis and according to C and G Newspapers, state officials even requested residents to stagger their lawn-watering schedule this summer. Experts say that a property owner should use about one inch of water per watering session, but Michigan was so strict that it warned residents not to water their lawns at the top of any hour.

“We’ve seen some very dry periods in southeast Michigan this summer season, and water use is certainly rising,” said Sue McCormick, head of the Great Lakes Water Authority. “Lawns are large, thirsty plantings, and not watering them can really reduce water usage.”

A $285 million pipeline between Flint and Lake Huron is almost finished, but the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) wants an additional 3.5-mile pipeline added on so that Flint residents can receive drinking water from the Great Lakes Water Authority while the local water is gathered and tested for at least six months.

Detroit Free Press reports that the new pipeline is expected to be completed by the beginning of March and Flint’s emergency contract for Detroit’s water system, which has already been prolonged, is scheduled to end at the end of June.

“Should Flint continue to be under a public health emergency at the time of the end of that contract, the Great Lakes Water Authority would be willing to extend it,” said Amanda Abukhader, water authority spokeswoman.

After a struggling year, Flint now faces another bacterial outbreak called Shigellosis, which can cause severe fever and other health issues. Shigellosis is commonly caused when people do not wash their hands.

“People aren’t bathing because they’re scared,” said Jim Henry, Genesee County’s environmental health supervisor.

CNN reports that in addition to fighting the statewide water crisis, Michigan is now pushing a “wash your hands” campaign to address the bacterial outbreak.

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