Flint Families Paying for Still-Unsafe Drinking Water


| 3/17/2017 10:57:00 AM


Tags: drinking water, environmental health, Michigan, Kayla Matthews,

 

Imagine being asked to pay to poison yourself and your family. Sounds ridiculous, right? Residents of Flint, Michigan, feel that is exactly what the government is asking them to do. Their water has been unsafe to drink for several years.

Residents have been drinking bottled water donated by the government, charities and celebrities. Some even bathe with bottled water because they do not trust the tap water is safe, regardless of what the government tells them. Trust has been broken and fear and suspicion run amok.

How Did This Happen

In 2011, Gov. Rick Snyder discovered Flint’s finances were a disaster. He appointed an emergency manager, and Flint was placed in receivership. The emergency manager’s job was to get Flint’s finances in order. Part of the effort to save the city money was to remove Flint from the Detroit Water Department, which it had been using for decades.

Flint paid to have water piped from Lake Huron, as did many communities in the surrounding region. Anti-corrosion chemicals were routinely added to the water to keep the pipes from leaching hazardous metals into the water. In 2014, the emergency manager switched Flint’s water source from Detroit and Lake Huron to the local Flint River.

In doing so, they failed to add the necessary corrosion control treatment. Lead, rust, and iron leached from the pipes into the water. Residents could even see it coming from their taps. Lead exposure can cause permanent mental and physical damage, especially in children. Other residents suffered Legionnaires’ disease, causing death in a dozen cases.




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