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FLINT, Mich. (AP) — The state of Michigan will pay all Flint water bills in May to encourage the flushing of lead from old pipes and the recoating of plumbing with a corrosion chemical.

Gov. Rick Snyder made the announcement Thursday at a news conference with Flint’s mayor and a federal official.

The state previously pledged to pay for extra consumption associated with residents being asked to run water for a certain period each day for two weeks. But to encourage more people to participate, Michigan now will cover bills entirely this month.

It’s estimated it will cost $1.7 million.

Flint, which has about 100,000 residents, is recovering from using the Flint River for 18 months without corrosion control. The water leached lead from pipes. The city switched back to another source in October.

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(Photo Source: AP)

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