One spokes person has publicly commented that the Flint water plant was equivalent to a broken down car. In addition, the spokes person also added the closer that you inspect the broken down vehicle the worse it looks. Essentially, the Flint water plant is in pretty poor shape.
A few years ago the Flint water plant was considered a huge asset that would assist in cutting water costs for the entire city by using the Detroit water system. All that was required was a few upgrades to the water system in order to make their initial plan successfully work.
It turned out that it would take about $100 million dollars to complete all required upgrades and renovations to the water plant. In reality, there was no way that the water budget could handle such an expense.
The original intent was to cut any loses with the Flint water system and move aggressively to come up with viable solutions to produce safe drinking water to Flint residents. However, it was soon discovered that the plant was in no position to produce safe drinking water to its residents.
Even before the Flint River was used as a back up resource for water supply, the EPA issued warnings against using the River as a source of water under any conditions.
Darnell Early was supervising the Flint water system at the time warnings were issued against utilizing the Flint River as a water source. Basically, the decision was based on economics. It was estimated that up to $5 million dollars could be saved by using the water plant as well as the Flint River as a temporary source of water.
*Economics Vs. Safety:
Officials at the DEQ were warned about potential dangers associated with accessing the Flint River as a water source for residents. The DEQ apparently did not give serious consideration to any warnings pertaining to the use of the plant or the Flint River as a water source. Since this time at least three members of the DEQ had serious charges brought against them for their negligent decisions.
The Department of Natural Resources has issued a statement which basically states that at the time the decision was made to use water from the Flint River as a back up no other options or alternatives were available at the time. However, the department agrees that saving money should never be a priority if possible health issues exist as a result. Pretty amazing how we have unlimited funding for endless wars and Wall Street bailouts, but yet poison our own citizens.