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Flint To No Longer Receive Free Bottled Water Despite Elevated Lead Levels

Steven Depolo/CC BY 2.0/Flickr

The elevated lead levels were found recently in Flint’s elementary schools. There is no safe level of lead.

Despite a larger number of schools showing elevated lead levels after testing last month and old pipes still awaiting replacement, residents of Flint, Michigan will no longer receive bottled water as officials deem tap water safe for use.

CNN reports that Gov. Rick Snyder announced Friday that Flint’s water is "well within the standards” and testing shows levels of lead below the federal limit.

The free bottled water program was part of a $450 million state and federal aid package. The state had been handing out bottled water and filters at several distribution points across the city and will stop once the current supply runs out.

"Bottled water may be ending but the state's commitment to the residents of Flint remains strong," said Rich Baird, senior adviser to Snyder, in a statement.

However, not everyone is comfortable with the program ending just yet.

Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, one of the first to detect elevated lead levels in children, tweeted her disappointment.

The pediatrician said, “This is wrong. Until all lead pipes are replaced, state should make available water and filters to Flint residents.”

Others simply don’t trust that the water is safe yet, even though it has been four years since the problem was discovered.

"I don't trust the filter, I don't trust the water," [Ariana] Hawk told CNN affiliate WJRT. "Everything that me and my kids do from cooking to boiling their water for a bath, we're using bottled water, I do not trust anything."

Like Hawk, many in Flint have not opened their taps for years. They brush their teeth and wash their faces only using bottled water.

Gov. Snyder’s announcement draws to a close the bottled water program enacted under the Environmental Protection Agency’s Safe Drinking Water Emergency Order, which also included handing out filters, rerouting the water supply, and replacing corroded pipes.

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