Bottled water to be delivered to homes hit by Flint water crisis
Bottled water must be delivered to lead-tainted homes in Flint, Michigan, unless residents opt out or officials verify that a water filter has been properly installed, a judge has ordered.
Flint residents are urged to use bottled water or filtered tap water while the city's water system heals from lead contamination. Corrosive water from the Flint River was not treated properly for 18 months.
Water is distributed free at many sites in Flint. Residents who cannot get to a distribution site can call a community group for help, but US District Judge David Lawson said it is still not enough.
"The fact that such items are available does not mean that they are reliably accessible or effective in furnishing safe drinking water to every household," he said.
"Bottled water is heavy, and not all of Flint's residents are capable of transporting the cases of water effectively."
It is unclear how many people in the city of roughly 100,000 will get home delivery. Mr Lawson said the state of Michigan and Flint must provide each home with four cases of bottled water per week per resident, if they qualify.
Delivery is not required if officials confirm that a filter has been installed and is working properly. Residents also can decline water.
State lawyers were reviewing Mr Lawson's order, said Anna Heaton, spokeswoman for Governor Rick Snyder.
"What the judge said is very reasonable," said Dimple Chaudhary, a lawyer with the Natural Resources Defence Council, which sought the injunction along with the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan.
"It's a complex situation, and the government response has not been robust enough."