Flint makes the switch to use river for drinking water

It's the first time in nearly 50 years that water from the Flint River is being treated, and used as drinking water.

"The city has had virtually no control over managing its most important resource and service, and that is the water," said Darnell Earley, Emergency Manager, City of Flint:

City officials claim making the switch from relying on waterfrom Detroit to using what's already in the city gives Flint independence.

For one man, who lives and works in Flint, he admits hearing that his drinking water was coming from the Flint River made him concerned.

"There's the jokes of, oh you know, you never know what you're going to find in the Flint River," said Chris Godine, Flint resident.

In the past, industrial businesses were allowed to dump chemicals into the river. Those who have studied the river water for decades say now that's not the case.

"The river is perfectly healthy for drinking water," said Rebecca Fedewa, Executive Director, Flint River Watershed Coalition.

River water does pose a few challenges though.

"Rivers just naturally have more sediment and things like that in the water so they need to take some extra steps to take the sediment out, and then the river water is a little harder," said Fedewa.

The city says residents won't notice a change in quality. After being a bit concerned at first Godine says he trusts that will be the case.

"I know there's the different standards they have to keep the water quality to and as long as they meet it, I'm not that worried," said Godine.

The city is just treating and testing the river water for now. Their goal is to stop taking water from Detroit on Monday, and be using solely the Flint River as its source.