Poisoned Water in Flint Michigan is Unsafe

Residents of Flint lined up on Friday to get cases of bottled water distributed by members of the Michigan National Guard. Credit Brittany Greeson for The New York Times
Residents of Flint lined up on Friday to get cases of bottled water distributed by members of the Michigan National Guard. Credit Brittany Greeson for The New York Times

Let it be clear that the team at RainBank does not embrace a scare tactic or doomsday philosophy. We wholeheartedly embrace the principle that safe, clean water is a basic human right. The poisoned public water situation in Flint, Michigan is outrageous – deplorable and unconscionable.

The Washington Post has compiled a timeline of this water crisis. Click here to view.

As reported in the New York Times, the city of Flint, MI, was in a state of receivership from 2011 to 2015. This means the city had its finances controlled by a string of four emergency managers. One of these administrators tried to save money by drawing water from the Flint River.

In doing so, the public water system became poisonous. Folks immediately reported that the color, odor and taste of the water was bad and bacterial contamination was found. However, chemicals used to disinfect the water caused a different kind of contamination, but state officials contended that the water was safe. [Editor’s note – ARE YOU KIDDING ME?]

Exemplary pictures looking into Flint drinking water pipes, showing different kinds of iron corrosion and rust (Photo: Min Tang and Kelsey Pieper) http://flintwaterstudy.org/tag/drinking-water/
Exemplary pictures looking into Flint drinking water pipes, showing different kinds of iron corrosion and rust (Photo: Min Tang and Kelsey Pieper) http://flintwaterstudy.org/tag/drinking-water/

So, even though they now have a safe water supply, the Flint River water was so corrosive, it had caused lead to leach from the pipes. The NY Times article further reports “…it is unclear how long the leaching will continue. Flint is a member of a regional water authority that is building a new pipeline to bring water from Lake Huron, which should be operational later this year.”

The entire incident is being investigated by the Michigan Attorney General’s office and the National Guard has begun distributing bottled water, filters and testing kits to residents.

Adults and children were poisoned by this blatant and alarming disregard for the basic human right to access safe, clean water from a public water system. While authorities have begun the process to right the wrong, it will probably take tens of years to deal with the harm that was inflicted on the folks who trusted that their water was safe.

Sonia Schenker
Administrator and Chief Virtual Officer at RainBank Rainwater Systems
Sonia has worked behind the scenes as an administrator for RainBank since January, 2010. She has 25 plus years’ experience as an executive administrative assistant and also teaches modern office options to adults seeking to improve workplace skills. Based in the northeast US, Sonia manages and advises on all business aspects for RainBank Rainwater Systems, including blog, website and social media management and overall business strategy.

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