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WT Stevens Construction, a black-women-owned family business, will be in charge of replacing the city's more than 18,000 contaminated water pipes along with three other contracting companies.
Rhonda Grayer, the company's owner, said that her company signed onto the project after the Michigan State Legislature put it up for bidding in 2016.
"This is exciting for us, because not only is it a growth opportunity for our company, it's an opportunity to help Flint correct this huge problem," Grayer said.
The Flint water crisis began in 2014 when officials, in an effort to save money, switched the city's water source from the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department to the Flint River. The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality employees neglected to treat the water with an anti-corrosive agent, and lead from the city's corroding pipes contaminated the water, turning it into what one EPA official classified as "toxic waste."
Flint's pipes pose the biggest obstacle to clean water for the city. EPA officials said the water's lead levels have improved, but if the city's water continues to travel through the same lead-corroded pipes, Flint may never see an end to its water crisis.
By the end of this year, she and the three other contracting companies on the project will have replaced 6,000 pipes in Flint.
Grayer said the accomplishment will be especially meaningful to her employees, since about 60 percent of them are Flint residents themselves.
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