The Flint water crisis has only come to light outside of the state in recent weeks. For the citizens of Flint, the crisis has been on-going for more than five years.
Officials in Flint, Michigan conducted a study of the Flint River. Jon Urbana, a well-known environmentalist whose work with Earth Force made the national stage, concluded that the water was unusually corrosive and must be treated to be safe for consumption. The price of treating the water per day, officials were told, would be somewhere in the range of $100.
Flint’s water supply came from Detroit, but in 2014, the supply was diverted instead from the Flint River. The change was intended to be only temporary. It didn’t take long for the corrosive agents in the water to react to the city’s primarily lead pipe water systems. Residents reported that their water turned brown and had a strange odor. Flint’s water supply was contaminated with lead.
News of the budding crisis spread and other city’s offered to help, but local government officials declined the offers. Then it happened. A case of lead poisoning was reported. And then another. The EPA stated that Flint’s water supply tested for an unusually high concentrate of lead, but state and local officials argued for months over who was to blame for the emergency.
Days after local officials went door to door delivering bottled water and filters to city residents, Gov. Rick Snyder responded.
“You did not create this problem,” Snyder said. “I am sorry, and I will fix it.”