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Flint Water

Flint families are still using bottled water to live

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By STEPHANIE PARKINSON, WSMH

FLINT, Mich. (WSMH) - Imagine using bottled water for everything from brushing your teeth, to cooking your food, to washing your dishes. That is the reality for many families who still live in Flint.

One mother, Ariana Hawk, is still using bottled water for everything from brushing her kids' teeth to cooking them lunch. She says she is not yet assured the water is safe despite improved testing results from the state.

Ariana Hawk's son, Sincere Hawk, graced the cover of Time magazine in 2016. At the time, his skin looked like it had burns on it. Today, he has clear skin but Ariana Hawk says it comes with a lot of hard work.

"I don't allow my kids to stay in the tub longer than five minutes. That's our max. Long enough to get them in there, I'll wash them up and they're out," she said. "I'm trying to limit the exposure to the water. I don't know if it's safe. They say it's safe. I don't feel like it's safe. If I don't feel like it's safe - it's not safe for my kids."

Rich Baird, the governor's transformation manager, assures people in the city the tap water is safe if a faucet filter is used.

"We're much closer to quote water normalcy in Flint than we were two years ago," said Baird. "I'm happy to tell you that the data says that Flint's water system is stable and that the water coming into the homes and businesses and schools is quality water."

None of this is enough for Ariana Hawk though.

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"People are not going to believe the words out of the same people who poisoned them. They're not going to believe the words that are coming out of their mouth. I know as a mother, I'm not. I'm not going to say yeah, I believe you guys then something happens to my kids a year later, because we're back using this Flint water," said Ariana Hawk.

The state is still providing bottled water and faucet filters for free at four locations in the city. Baird says water testing will dictate when those services will be halted. For now, there is no end date set.

“It’s going to be hard for anybody to believe that the water coming out of this faucet is OK," said Ariana Hawk. "It’s going to take for, I don’t know, Queen Elizabeth to come to Michigan and take a sip of our water and say, 'Yes it’s clean.'”

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