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Has anyone been following the Flint water crisis?

romanigypsyeyesromanigypsyeyes 33158 replies766 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 33,924 Senior Member
I haven't seen much of this on the national news so I'm wondering if anyone else has been following this...

In a nut shell (and in the most politically neutral language I can muster), there was a decision made in the city of Flint, MI to change Flint's water supply from Detroit (Lake Huron) to the Flint River.

There were warning signs by both residents and activists which were systematically ignored. Eventually, a doctor ran her own tests to prove that children were being poisoned by lead.

Major problems:
-There was heavy lead contamination in the Flint River and this has lead to, frankly, the poisoning thousands of children. (If you don't know, lead poisoning leads to serious mental and physical health problems and is known to cause significant developmental delays.)
-They switched from lake to river water without correcting for the corrosive nature of river water. This has led to extremely corroded pipes which will, eventually, collapse. This is a very, very basic step that *anyone* with *any* sort of training in plumbing or water systems would know.
Gov. Rick Snyder apologized to the City of Flint on Tuesday for the drinking water crisis that has left children poisoned by lead and announced that he accepted the resignation of Michigan Department of Environmental Quality Director Dan Wyant.

Snyder said in a news release that there will be other personnel changes at the DEQ and that the moves he announced are among "initial steps" he is taking to assure the safety of Flint residents, with more action to come.

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Replies to: Has anyone been following the Flint water crisis?

  • HImomHImom 33856 replies387 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 34,243 Senior Member
    edited December 2015
    Wow--that's VERY scary! There will surely be lasting consequences! How long have the children (and families) been drinking this Flint River? Are there any treatments to help reduce the lead levels in people that can be used to help lessen effects of lead poisoning? Glad they are reconnecting/reconnected to Lake Huron, but this never should have happened and reaction was MUCH too slow with such a huge public safety issue.
    edited December 2015
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  • saxsax 5272 replies156 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 5,428 Senior Member
    It would interest me to know if any of those people in charge suddenly started buying bottled water for themselves and their families.

    Their decisions were criminal. It appears there was enough gray area in the rules and procedures to evade criminal charges. I wonder if they protected their own families.....

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  • tom1944tom1944 5820 replies198 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 6,018 Senior Member
    A week or so ago I heard the Flint mayor interviewed on NPR. She discussed the situation and gave her opinion on what needed to be done.
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  • zobrowardzobroward 3740 replies193 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,933 Senior Member
    yes I have and it is beyond words. on a side note where I live a couple years back the water smelled like bleach just turning on the water. for the first time in my life I called the water department (and they answered the phone) 5 minutes later I got a call from a chemist from the department, he explained they were flushing the lines and they use a molecular structure with the equivalent of "bleach" or something like that. it does not effect humans and pets. I looked it up on the internet and it was true.(I always trust but verify) I did not drink the tap water for those two days but I did use the shower. another time I had a water issue on the weekend I called the water department and the police answered, I said I was calling the water department not sure I must have miss dialed...they said non emergency dispatch answers for the water dept after hours and weekends. I said ok never mind , they said no this is our job and asked the problem I told them they followed up called me back and called every 2-3 hours to make sure the problem was fixed. the point is that I do not live in beverly hills, I do not have a lot of money, I am not famous..and in my city they care and do it right. what is happening in flint should not even happen in the 3rd world and it seems like nobody who is charge really cares or it would have never been allowed to happen in the first place.
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  • OnwardOnward 2888 replies77 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 2,965 Senior Member
    Maybe now the Flint River will get some attention. Lead in the water isn't good for anyone including the animals and plants that live there.
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  • greenwitchgreenwitch 8623 replies41 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 8,664 Senior Member
    Is the lead in the river water or is the more corrosive river water leaching lead out of the old pipes and fittings?
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  • anomanderanomander 1645 replies4 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,649 Senior Member
    Stories like this make me grateful I use a reverse osmosis filter for drinking water. In the past 15 years since we've been using one, there's been local water issues with cysts, various types of contamination, and most recently that ridiculously stupid EPA mine cleanup spill. I trust our water from the pipes 99.9% of the time but it's that 0.1% that'll get you.
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  • IgloooIglooo 7991 replies203 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 8,194 Senior Member
    My water system is the worst. I never thought of drinking tap water without filtering.
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  • movemetoomovemetoo 724 replies11 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 735 Member
    edited December 2015
    Romani, look up Rachel Maddow's coverage of it online, she has covered it extensively and is extremely concerned about the situation.

    I drink from the Detroit water supply, which is very well regulated and have never had a problem with it. It's really inconceivable that Flint decided to go their own way without fully investigating the ramifications beforehand. What seemed like a decision to save a little money has now turned into a disaster for an already struggling city.

    I think there's going to be more to this story in the long run, about who profited from the decision initially.

    edited December 2015
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  • romanigypsyeyesromanigypsyeyes 33158 replies766 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 33,924 Senior Member
    I've seen most of her coverage. I didn't want to include it because she's very liberal but I happen to think she's absolutely spot on.

    I was watching it with my dad over Christmas. He's a master plumber and from Detroit so all of this hits close. He, like me, is furious. This idiotic decision will have decades of repercussions.

    I sincerely hope people face criminal charges for what they've done to these already extremely disadvantaged children.
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  • Cardinal FangCardinal Fang 18182 replies155 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 18,337 Senior Member
    Many water filters don't get rid of heavy metals. Reverse osmosis does, but other filters don't.

    The lead was not in the river; it's in the pipes. River water has a different pH than the Great Lakes water. The lead is in the pipes, but the corrosive water is leaching the lead out of the pipes and putting it in the water to poison kids. This is a known consequence of using river water as drinking water. That is why experts told the city not to proceed with switching to a different water system without treating the river water so that it wouldn't leach lead out of pipes.

    The unelected emergency city manager ignored the experts, proceeded to switch to the river water, and then continued to ignore experts who warned him that the water was poison.

    He ignored the local pediatrician who tested blood samples from local children, determining that since the water switched over, three times as many kids had dangerously elevated levels of lead in their blood.

    He ignored the McArthur-winning drinking water expert, who had a press conference on the front lawn saying he had tested the water and it was dangerous.

    He ignored the EPA.

    When the (powerless) city council voted to switch back to the safe Detroit water, the city manager sold the pipes, so that switching back is now impossible.

    A local car plant can no longer use tap water in its manufacturing. The tap water is now so corrosive that it corrodes the manufacturing process.
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  • michigandermommichigandermom 49 replies0 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 49 Junior Member
    @greenwitch I believe it is the corrosive water that is leaching lead out of the pipes. They tested the river water at the source, and found it to be safe to drink (and also tested a small number of homes). However, much of the piping for the older homes and schools in Flint is galvanized steel, these homes and schools were not tested until it was clear that it was a problem.
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  • movemetoomovemetoo 724 replies11 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 735 Member
    Read this article for the ongoing price these kids are going to be paying (who already were so vulnerable before this disaster). http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ben-barber/lead-poisoning-linked-to-_b_3423272.html

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  • haydenhayden 4360 replies55 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 4,415 Senior Member
    edited December 2015
    @Cardinal Fang, excellent synopsis. I will add that the emergency manager is a Michigan thing, where the governor can override a local mayoral election and appoint a city manager who is accountable only to the governor.

    The state EPA, the emergency manager and the governor repeatedly told Flint residents to "relax" and that there was nothing wrong with the drinking water. This verges on criminal behavior in light of the extensive warnings from non-state agencies from the very beginning.
    edited December 2015
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