An update on the Flint Water Crisis and how you can help

Many people in Flint, Michigan still don’t have clean water yet and the government promises to set aside $97 million over the next three years to replace the lead pipes in at least 18,000 homes. It’s been over two years since a state of emergency was called in Flint, and almost 3 years since the residents found out their water was contaminated. The lead filled drinking water has shown to impair cognition, delay puberty and create behavioral and hearing problems in children. When ingested in copious amounts lead can affect the heart kidneys and nerves, in everyone.

So how did we get to this point?

Quick Timeline

April 2013 – The Flint City Council votes to pump water in from Lake Huron and switch from Flint’s previous water supplier, The Detroit Water & Sewerage Department. However, Flint would not be able to use Lake Huron until 2016 so in the meantime they decide to use the Flint River.

April 2014 – Flint's water supply gets connected to the Flint River, and almost immediately residents start to complain about their water tasting and looking strange.

August 2014 – The city issues its first boil warning because the water has high levels of fecal coliform bacteria.

October 2014 – General Motors quits using Flint water because it started to corrode the engines parts.

January 2015 – The city warned its citizens that there are high levels of disinfection byproducts in their water. Extended consumption of this can lead to a higher risk of cancer and it exceeded the limits set by the Safe Drinking Water Act.

October 2015 – The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality admits to not following the correct protocol (a.k.a. doing nothing) in 2011, when told the Flint River has huge amounts of lead in it and would need to be treated with phosphates. The city also switches back to Detroit water at this time.

January 2016 – A federal lawsuit was filed in Detroit against the state, claiming a violation of the Safe Water Drinking Act.

April 2016 – Criminal charges are filed against three government employees in relation to the Flint Water Crisis.

July 2016 – Another six state workers are charged in relation to The Flint Water Crisis

January 2017 – A $722 million lawsuit is filed against the EPA by more than 1,700 residents effected by the Flint Water Crisis.

March 2017 – The EPA awards $100 million to Flint in order to fix their drinking water infrastructure.

In truth, there are so many reasons why the Flint Water Crisis is only just coming to an end, and the worst part is that most of them were preventable. An investigation by the “Flint Journal” showed that back in 2014 they weren’t monitoring the lead levels in resident’s homes properly, or at all. The EPA did nothing to help, they only stood by government officials who dismissed the problem; despite the many reports confirming that the water was dangerous and corrosive to the copper pipes, causing lead to contaminate the water. The good news is that the levels in most of Flint are under the allowed limits, and that the government is to replace the lead pipes in 18,000 of those Flint homes by 2020. The bad news is that many parts will still be relying on donations to eat, drink, and bathe until 2020. We can’t allow history to forget about Flint, Michigan because it’s an example of how the government can take advantage or be careless with people and families that are below the poverty line.

Here’s How you can Help

1. Donate Money

  • Flint child and Health Development Fund – This organization does amazing work for the children of Flint and ensuring they have a healthy and happy childhood.
  • Genesee United Way – This organization buys water bottles for the citizens of Flint with the money you donate.
  • Flint Water Study – This research group helps keep the people of Flint informed on what’s in their water.

2. Donate Water and Filters – Find out guidelines and drop of stops at Help for Flint.

3. Call or send letter to Gov. Rick Snyder – Many resident of flint are still paying for water that they can’t even use. Find out more information here.