- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 7, 2015

FLINT, Mich. (AP) - Facing a public health emergency over lead in its water, Flint should reconnect to Detroit’s water system while it awaits a new pipeline to Lake Huron, a committee of local experts recommended Wednesday.

The Technical Advisory Committee, a group of experts in health, water and science, rarely meets and has no formal role in deciding whether Flint stops using the Flint River. But city administrator Natasha Henderson said the group’s views are important.

“We have key people here at the table to talk about these issues,” she said.

At the same meeting, Mayor Dayne Walling said getting water from Detroit is “actively under discussion.”

A public health emergency has been declared in Flint due to corrosive water from the Flint River leaching lead from old pipes. A Virginia Tech researcher, Marc Edwards, said there would be dramatic reductions in lead in about a month if the Detroit water system is used. A new pipeline won’t be ready until 2016.

“We can’t stay in the spot we are in right now,” said Dr. Lawrence Reynolds, president and chief executive officer of Mott Children’s Health Center and a member of the committee.

Gov. Rick Snyder last week did not rule out reconnecting Flint to Detroit’s regional water system, saying it’s an “active topic.”

State government and nonprofit groups are distributing filters and bottled water to Flint homes and schools. Extended hours for distribution were announced Wednesday.

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