It has been over 5 years since the Flint Water Crisis has grabbed national headlines. The citizens demanding answers as to why their drinking water was smelly, brown, and infested with bacteria, lead and other harmful pollutants that were making them sick.
For years, Flint has been the center of the water health media because of their threatening water situation. A large population suffering from lack of clean drinking water, causing stress, illness and distrust in their local government.
A pediatrician in Flint did a study on the lead levels of the children in the area. She found that most children’s lead levels DOUBLED after the switch in water supply. When our bodies are exposed to lead, it can cause irreversible harm, especially in growing children. Her publication launched the investigation that is in the works to fix the neglectful decisions made by their government, enraging the public as a whole. See our first blog on the Water Crisis in Flint to read more.
Flint’s water was testing as high as 158 ppb in some areas. One family’s water was tested at 13,000 ppb! Water that is tested at 5,000 ppb is considered Hazardous Waste by the EPA. The particles found in the water included bacteria like E. Coli, Legionella, and lead that leached from the old pipes after failure to use anticorrosive agents to disinfect the water supply!! (Ingraham, 2016)
This water influence has not only rose question and insecurity in the surrounding communities, but has brought awareness to people everywhere.
Testing your water is the first step in ensuring your family is using safe water.
How is the water quality now?
After years of fighting for one of the most basic human rights to be acknowledged, looked in to, addressed and fought over in court, the residents of Flint are receiving a monetary settlement, bottled water and filters supplied to homes and businesses around the city and thousands of new pipes installed that provide municipal water to homes, businesses, etc.
The government says that Flint’s water is safe to drink as the ppb are in the acceptable range, and has since stopped the distribution of bottled waters. The residents still have a distrust for their water and the people making these decisions. Most are still using bottled water for drinking and teeth brushing and are still bathing through heating up bottled water on the stove and pouring it into the bathtub.
“While not legally obligated to continue providing free water under the lead settlement after certain lead levels were achieved, the state has not yet addressed the community’s full array of water safety concerns, which go beyond lead. These worries are especially acute in the wake of the Legionella outbreak that reportedly contributed to a dozen or more deaths and has been linked by experts to Flint’s tap water.” (NRDC, 2018)
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Sources and Further Readings:
Kennedy, M. (2016). Lead-Laced Water In Flint: A Step-By-Step Look At The Makings Of A Crisis. https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/04/20/465545378/lead-laced-water-in-flint-a-step-by-step-look-at-the-makings-of-a-crisis
Ingraham, C. (2016). This is how toxic Flint’s water really is. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/01/15/this-is-how-toxic-flints-water-really-is/
NRDC Press Release. (2018) Michigan Governor’s Decision to End Bottled Water for Flint Deeply Troubling. https://www.nrdc.org/media/2018/180406