A Water Crisis in Flint, Michigan

February 24, 2016

Water, water everywhere, not a drop to drink…

In a city called Flint, Michigan, there is a big, big water problem. The water
is so dirty that it cannot be used, and drinking it could make someone really sick. How did this happen and what is the government planning to do to make everything better?

Let’s start from the beginning. About two years ago, the city of Flint had to find ways to save money. One way they could do this was to get water from a local source rather than continue to pay the city of Detroit for access to Lake Huron. To save money, they decided to redirect their water service lines to the Flint River. Unfortunately, the Flint River had a reputation for being incredibly dirty. The water from this river contained such high levels of iron in it that as the water flowed through the service pipes, the lead from the pipes started to break down. This corrosion contaminated the very water that flowed into the homes of the people of Flint. For two years, the people of Flint used and drank this water because they were told that it was fine. It was not, and people got sick.

Now, Obama has declared a state of emergency for the city of Flint and crates of bottled water have been shipped to the city. The problem is far from solved but an investigation is underway to figure out what happened, who is responsible, why the people were misled, and how the government is going to fix the problem.

Update September 2016:

  • Since the discovery that the water in Flint, Michigan was making people sick, six people have been charged in connection to the crisis.