The community of Flint, Michigan has been living with lead contaminated water since April of 2014, and this problem will continue in 2016. The Flint water crisis first began when Michigan switched their water supply source from the treated Detroit water supply to the Flint River. This Flint river was polluted with lead and contaminated trash that made it unsafe for drinking; however, the Government did not care to filter the water for safe drinking
The crisis of having contaminated tap water could have been avoided if the local Government would have cared for the safety of the community instead of cutting corners to save money. According to Flint's Lead Report, they did not properly report that the water was contaminated with lead or other corrosive chemicals. Flint, Michigan is a damaged city barely holding on, with poor living conditions and poverty on the rise. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services did not have the budget or time to test the contaminated water and believed a simple filtration would do the trick. The clean water supply before this crisis came from Lake Huron in Detroit, but with the economic decline in Michigan, government officials had to cut corners to save money.
The Flint water supply was contaminated with lead and caused the pipes to corrode into the water supply of many Michigan homes and apartments. Lead is a very dangerous chemical to the human body, banned in products to be sold. Even small traces of lead found in blood can cause negative bodily side effects. It causes problems in the nervous system and kidneys and can create future disabilities.
With Chicago under the poverty line, many kids drink from the tap as their source of water and thus become contaminated with lead. This is especially dangerous since many kids are in developing stages and can have mental problems as they grow older. Having lead in the water can also have detrimental effects on a pregnant women and can cause permanent damage to a fetus as it develops. According to “American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry,” lead can stunt a child's learning ability when exposed to it at a very young age
"The governor has apologized for the state letting people down in a breakdown of a bureaucracy that failed at all levels, from local to state to federal," said Adler, Snyder's spokesman in a CNN interview March 5th.
It was not the river to blame, but the elected officials who decided not to treat the water properly. Many states and communities use lakes and rivers as their water source but use treatment to make it drinkable. It is easy to place the blame on the officials who decided not to filter or bother to check the conditions the Flint river was in, but the area of Flint is tremendously impoverished. To them, they had no other choice.
"This was a failure at all levels of government and particularly at the DEQ," Adler said in a panel concerning the Flint water supply.
The community has spoken out, and government officials are going back to Lake Huron located in Detroit to save the people from more contaminated water. The officials are working to get the contaminated water crisis fixed before more infants, children and families become increasingly ill. Getting all the pipes cleaned out and running with new fresh water will be a long process.
The world has heard the cries from Michigan, and Texas is willing to help. The City of Keller in Tarrant County will be willing to give the Flint area a no-interest loan of $12 million in order to get new pipes that have corroded and are unsafe to use again.
As of April 25, Sasha Avonna Bell, a leading activist involved in the lawsuit with Flints lead poisoning was murdered in her home. This has brought fear into citizens as more people in the community have died in their homes due to lead traces. There is no progress happening in Flint as people are still living under these conditions and it has been two years since the incident broke out.