Water Crisis In Flint, Michigan Purdue University Research Paper

1753 words - 8 pages

Water Crisis in Flint, Michigan.
Water Crisis in Flint, Michigan.
A federal state of emergency was declared by former president Barack Obama after a public health crisis emerged in Flint, Michigan in April 2014. The massive health crisis initially arose when the city switched their water supply from Lake Huron to Flint River and disastrous levels of lead were found in the city's drinking water. This was a caustic source of water supply that was immediately detected by the Flint residents who had become aware of this issue due to the taste and scent of the water. The importance of this endemic is indescribable as water is essential to human life, therefore, fixing the water system and providing the citizens of Flint with clean water is an absolute necessity.
Flint officials’ search for cheaper water began in 2012 and ended in 2014 when they decided to switch water sources. According to the city council meetings, this concept was meant to save the city millions of dollars for the next twenty-five years. Not so long after the decision was made by the former Flint emergency manager, Ed Kurtz, the Detroit water system informed Kurtz of the imminent termination of their services for the city in the upcoming year. Flint’s plan was to build a pipeline connecting to the Karegnondi Water Authority (KWA) and as the plan was not in operation, it was very crucial to find a different source; the Flint River. With the passage of time, the switch was made and the water was running as fast as the complaints were being filed. The city had a press release addressing the citizens concerns to ease their state of mind. The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Office reassured citizens in the press release by stating that, “The quality of water being put out meets all of our drinking water standards and Flint water is safe to drink” (Kennedy, & NPR, 2014). The officials’ concern with cost reduction was the primary reason for the change in the water supply- thus contaminating the water. Rather than inspecting the pipes, the investigation was delayed, therefore, putting a hold on the treatment of the pipes.
It had become quite apparent that the water was no longer safe, as motor shops such as “General Motors” stopped using Flint’s water as they were afraid to ruin their machines. Another piece of evidence that surfaced indicating that the water was hazardous was the health problems that citizens were experiencing. According to the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, the “Flint-area children’s average blood lead patterns display consistent peaks in the third quarter of the year” (Laidlaw, 2016). The city warned its citizens about the water by clearly stating that the water contains byproducts of disinfectants that could affect both the elderly and younger children. As stated in Michigan Live, there are potential health risks such as cancer, if one continues to drink Flint River’s infected water.
Thereafter, more complaints were be...


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