There’s Something in the Water: The Betrayal of a Municipal Water System

Flint, Michigan has declared a state of emergency over levels of lead in their drinking water. At our core, we don’t want to believe that this is possible. We don’t want to believe that an American community can be subjected to such neglect in the name of cost cutting. The well being of a population nearing 100,000 citizens endangered because of a complete disregard for human life under the guise of penny pinching.

Residents have been getting sick and have documented about the smell and taste of their water. Even General Motors has discovered tainted water supply began corroding it’s engines.

This newest Detroit based water crisis has hit children the worst as levels of lead in their blood have almost doubled over the last year. Lead poisoning has a direct effect on damaging the brain, lowers coginative function, abdominal pain, neurological changes, and irritability. At very high levels, it can be fatal… There are no “safe” levels of lead consumption.

According to the Detroit Free Press, “Flint’s drinking water became contaminated with lead in 2014 after its supply source was switched from Lake Huron water provided by what was then the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department to the more polluted and corrosive Flint River, while the city was under the control of a state-appointed emergency manager, Kevyn Orr.”

Furthermore, an article written by Addicting Info last October claims “residents were notified of elevated levels of TTHM, or total trihalomethane in the water supply [as of January 2015], which failed to meet standards set forth in the Clean Drinking Water Act. Although the health of thousands of people was potentially impacted by this, almost a year passed before the residents were notified.

Following the January notice, the city of Detroit offered to supply drinking water to Flint again, as had been the case for decades before Snyder’s emergency manager [Kevyn Orr] assumed complete control of the city. The emergency manager refused the offer, claiming that it would cost too much to return to the previous system.”

This is not the first trouble that the Detroit area has faced in recent years. Last May, ”The Detroit Water and Sewage Department began shutting off water to about 1,000 delinquent accounts on Tuesday, against the wishes of the city council.

The department would not make the exact number of households affected available. It distributed about 3,000 door hangers earlier in the month warning residents that they had ten business days to get on a payment plan or risk having their water turned off. About 800 signed up for the plans, which allow them to keep their water on if they can stay current on their bills. But many who sign up eventually fall behind again, as the average bill is about $75 but the average past due amount is $755.” Shortly following, the Detroit City Council voted 5–4 to approve a 7.5% water rate hike.

There is something dangerous floating around the city of Detroit, and we think it might not just be in the water…

For more information about the water crisis in Flint and Detroit, we recommend viewing the documentary “The Waterfront.”