The most confusing thing to understand about the Flint water crisis is that lead is not found in water.
Of course, when situations like this happen, we question whether our water is safe and fear is followed by mistrust and uncertainty. So, good news, lead is not in water. Also, if you use public water, there are mandated treatments and tests that are done periodically, rest assured.
Flint: how is it being poisoned?
Currently, the city in efforts to balance budgets and cut costs, is using the local Flint River as a water source. The water from the river is so contaminated that as the water is pumped to their homes, it is corroding the pipes that are in place. Metals such as copper and lead from the pipes are then mixed and added to the water, bringing it into the homes. It is possible that the aging pipes were already in a bad state and that, no matter how clean the water source, there was still lead leaking into the water.
Could this type of outcome have been expected and prevented? Who is to know and who is to blame?
First steps first
While Flint has been waiting for the construction of their own water district, Governor Rick Snyder formally announced that he had no plans to remove and replace the corroded pipes currently being used. Can it be any more tragic that the government can cause such a problem and then turn a blind eye?
However, there is good news. Like it was hoped when Mayor Karen Weaver was elected back in November, she has plans on stopping at nothing to correct and revive Flint morally. After meeting with the Mayor of Lansing, Virg Bernero, construction plans were drawn up and will begin with the replacement of each line, costing about three thousand dollars and only taking four hours. Without Bernero’s guidance and leadership, it was said each line could take up to ten hours. Lansing has recently, over the last ten years, taken the time to replace their own pipes, so this new project comes with great confidence and expertise. Flint can rest assured that the source of fear and pain will be gutted and behind them.
A date has not been set for this construction to start, however, the mayor knows the first to go has to be the pipes where pregnant women and children live. Working with human services, the next targeted area is focused on the elderly. The mayor plans to work with local medical staff to make sure these plans are carried out precisely and accordingly.
In 2014, more than half the states have received funding toward the prevention and treatment of lead poisoning. States including Michigan have received a three-year funding of about three thousand dollars, average funding based on the size and need of each state. It can be trusted that Michigan is not alone or the only state with lead poisoning. Other states have been making news, including Ohio and Pennsylvania, coming forward to pinpoint where the highest levels are and their cities with greatest risks. New Jersey has recently pledged ten million dollars to necessary precautions and preventions for their residents. Make your voices heard so that this can be eradicated and a memory.