Flint without water for over a year

By Kenzie T

Flint’s water is still not safe. It has been two years since the issue was recognized and although water levels are improving, residents are still choosing bottled water over tap. It’s important to remember that Flint still has a lot to improve on until people are able to feel safe about using their water.

In April 2014, Flint switched the water supply and in January 2015 Flint was found to be in violation of the Safe Drinking Water Act because of detection of disinfection byproducts. A month later water tests reported a high level of lead in homes on the Flint water system. Michigan Radio recently reported that the water levels have gotten better and residents are able to use filters to use the city water. But as long as the lead pipes are being used, the water will not be as safe as it could be and filters would have to be used. Even after this news some people are still choosing to stick to bottled water because of the risk factor. The risk factor being anyone that uses water with lead pipes has the chance of having lead poisoning.

Nestle Waters (a water company) has teamed up with Flint Michigan and have been reporting charitable acts and contributions to water donated to Flint. In 2016, 75 local partners were reported to be helping Flint and donate water, a total 6.5 million water bottles have been donated to Flint public schools, and 70,000 water bottles have been donated to the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan. Although donating water bottles is very helpful and allows people on the Flint water system to have temporary water, the lead levels in water have still not been completely fixed so people are still unable to use the city water without potentially getting lead poisoning.

In March 2016 the Oakland Press reported goals for the crisis that were outlined which included professional help for children under the age of six with elevated lead levels, replacing water fixtures in any public facilities, and replacing the 8,000 lead service lines. Reports say that water levels have not gotten any better and nothing else has been planned to take place to fix the lead levels in the water or switch to a different water system. Flint has also declared state of emergency multiple times and still no actions has been taken to change the issue. Criminal and Civil charges have been filed against officials and the Natural Resource Defense Council had asked the federal government to step in and help Flint.