The water supply for the city was switched from Detroit to a line carrying water from the Flint River in March 2014. The water was corrosive to the lead in the city’s pipes and dissolved it into the general supply. It was to be a temporary measure until a new line from Lake Huron was constructed. The water supply was switched back in October. The city of 100 000 stopped the Detroit supply after water rates were raised.
There is no safe level of lead. It is a neurotoxin which means that it particularly attacks nerves and brain cells. The most vulnerable are children and fetuses as their brains are growing fastest. The damage is permanent. Some new studies indicate that damage may affect children born to those affected.
Law suits have already started. It has been reported that the Environmental Protection Agency advised the city authorities that anti-corrosive measures should be taken before switching water sources. That, apparently, was never done.
So what was started as a money saving move has turned into a health nightmare for the residents. It has also engendered a multi-million dollar bill to clean the system and to provide for future therapy and health costs to the children.
To add to the woes of Flint residents is an outbreak of Legionnaire Disease. Two months after switching to the river water, a spike in the cases was noted. To date 87 cases have been identified and ten deaths. The disease is associated with warm, contaminated water.
Michigan News Live
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