FLINT, MI (KTRK) -- Flint has been in a devastating water crisis for nearly three years, and it may be another two before it's resolved.
Mayor Karen Weaver wrote to EPA officials earlier this week to inform them that the Michigan city will not be able to treat its own water for lead and other contaminants until 2019, citing a lengthy construction and testing process for a new water treatment plant.
"To expedite completion of the project and minimize cost, a design/build project delivery method is proposed," Weaver wrote. "Based on this approach, an August, 2019, completion date is anticipated for the treatment plant improvements."
Elevated lead levels were found in the water supply in Flint after the city switched from the Detroit water line to save money in 2014 and began drawing water from the Flint River.
Soon after the switch, the water started to look, smell and taste odd. Residents said it also looked dirty.
The EPA intervened in 2016, following studies that revealed dangerous levels of lead in the city's drinking water and a class-action lawsuit alleging that the Department of Environmental Quality wasn't treating the Flint River with an anti-corrosive agent.
Improperly treated water from the Flint River allowed lead to leach into the water until the city switched back to Detroit's supply in October.
Flint mayor: City needs 2 years to properly treat water