Flint Water Crisis
Flint, Michigan is in deep trouble regarding its water
Residents of Flint, Michigan are unable to get safe tap water because of corrosive water from the Flint River that is depositing lead into the city water along with high amounts of iron and pollutants, turning the water a light yellow to a dark orange.
This water crisis was caused by a recent change of the water supply to save money; from Lake Huron to the Flint River. The Flint River was already known for its filth, and was going to be used while the city constructed a direct state-run line from Lake Huron to Flint.
Soon enough, the water started to come to people's homes filled with pollutants and turned out to have lead in it. This began the filing of lawsuits, the protesting and the endless amounts of research to get clean water back to Flint.
This water issue comes to show that not taking care of your water over time can cause harsh consequences for yourself and others.
Different colors of Flint water, ranging from light yellow to a dark orange.
Tap water coming from a Flint hospital sink.
Comparison of the water from Lake Huron (Detroit) and the water from the Flint River.
Lead poisoning is irreversible and has very negative neurological effects on the human body such as:
- Lower IQ
- Behavioral problems
- Loss of developmental skills
Lead poisoning also has negative physical effects such as:
- Abdominal pain
- High blood pressure
- Kidney dysfunction
Children are at the most risk of lead poisoning because their bodies are still developing.
Lead poisoning is also Lethal if too much of it is in your body. The lethal dose of lead for children is 1250 micro-grams per liter.
Anti-corrosive agents were not added to the Flint water, which is against federal law and allowed the water to corrode the old lead pipes and put traces of lead into the already contaminated water.
The water was brown with lots of iron and other pollutants that aren't supposed to be in drinking water or water in general along with the unsafe amounts of lead.
The amount of lead in the flint water was from 2,000ppb (parts per billion) up to 13,200ppb. This is 200 to 1,300 times more than the standard 10ppb established by the World Health Organization and some testings exceeded the hazardous waste line of 5,000ppb.
In addition to the increase in lead ppb, the chloride levels in the water also went up by about 800%. This increase of chloride quickly corroded the lead pipes, putting lead into the water system.
The issue never got to the state or national level right away. It got attention when practically the whole city protested and complained about the water coming into their homes. This is probably because Flint is a struggling city is going through deep financial issues.
Adding a anti-corrosive agent like this to the water would have prevented 90% of Flint's problems today.
Many protests have popped up in Flint with signs saying, "stop poisoning our kids" or "Give us clean water."
Flint residents eventually filed a 26,000 signature petition against Flint to change its water source back to Lake Huron.
SIdes of the Issue
However, since that anti-corrosive agent was never added, Flint now has to fix and/or replace its lead pipes that are now putting lead into the water because of the corrosive water.