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Report: Flint's high water bills may double in next 5 years

This Jan. 21, 2016 photo shows the water tower at the Flint, Mich., water plant. Flints mayor has floated a shockingly high price to fix the citys lead-contamination problem, saying it could millions to replace damaged pipes. (Perry...
This Jan. 21, 2016 photo shows the water tower at the Flint, Mich., water plant. Flints mayor has floated a shockingly high price to fix the citys lead-contamination problem, saying it could millions to replace damaged pipes. (Perry... (Copyright by WSLS - All rights reserved)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - A report says Flint's costly residential water bills could double in the next five years because of a continued loss of customers, increased operating costs, pipe leakage and other problems in the impoverished city whose residents face a lead contamination crisis.

The Michigan Department of Treasury on Friday released an analysis warning that the average residential bill of nearly $54 a month may rise to $110 by the 2022 fiscal year. The typical residential bill has doubled since 2009 and is higher than in Flint's peer cities.

Factors in recent rate increases include population loss, a shrinking industrial base, years of no rate hikes and Flint both buying water and running a backup treatment plant.

Gov. Rick Snyder says "there's a serious problem that needs to be resolved."

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)