US News Flint residents paid America's highest water rates

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Flint residents paid the highest water rates in America even as their water was tainted with lead, according to a national study released Tuesday by the public interest group Food and Water Watch.

A survey of the 500 largest water systems in the country, conducted last year, found that on average, Flint residents paid about $864 a year for water service, nearly double the national average and about three-and-a-half times as much as Detroiters pay. The figure is based on an annual household consumption of 60,000 gallons.

"It far exceeds what the United Nations designates as affordable for water and sewer service," said Mary Grant, one of the study's authors. The United Nations recommends that water and sewer service shouldn't exceed 3% of a household income. In Flint, the charges totaled about 7%, Grant said.

A Flint lawyer who sued to reduce the rates says they are high in part because city officials and state-appointed emergency managers have tapped water and sewer money for other needs.

Read more here. (Detroit Free Press)
 
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