Water Crisis Plagues Flint, Michigan

Posted on April 5, 2016 by

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The city of Flint, Michigan has recently suffered a major water crises. Flint’s water supply was found to have astronomically high amounts of lead after the city switched its water supply two years ago from Lake Huron to the local Flint River.

The switch was made for financial reasons. The city saved money from the switch.

The acceptable amount of lead in a water supply must be less than 15 ppb (parts per billion) according to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). Flint’s water supply was found to be 25 ppb, with some samples surpassing 100 ppb.

It turns out that the water from the Flint River is ninetime times more corrosive than the city’s previous water supply, as was discovered by the Virginia Tech Research Team. The city never treated the water with an anti-corrosive agent, causing the water to eat away at the pipes.

The city began issuing water filters and water bottles to residents, offering a temporary solution to the issue. A long term fix has not yet been decided, but there are ideas. The city may incorporate an anti-corrosive agent or move the water supply back to that of Detroit and Lake Huron. The city will also need to repair and replace the pipes that take water to residents’ homes.

Many residents and observers are asking who is to blame for this crisis. There are, in fact, multiple answers. Many blame the city government for making the decision to switch the water supply to save money. They also blame them for consciously hiding it from the public for two years and ignoring the issue.

“A lot of people’s health was affected by the government’s decision,” junior Anna Grayek said.

The Department of Environmental Quality is also to blame. The DEQ is responsible for testing samples and determining if the water supply is safe to drink. The samples that they tested yielded safe results, but questions have surfaced whether or not they used legal and consistent samples.

“A lot of the data was not examined close enough,” said Anna Grayek. “They didn’t perform enough samples to get an accurate reading.”

“It is primarily the department’s job to make sure the water is safe to drink,” junior Josh Klopp said. “Had they done proper testing, they would have seen that the water had issues.”

Even the Republican governor Rick Snyder has received criticism for handling the situation poorly.

Posted in: Adrian Alicea