Flint, Rick Snyder — March 13, 2017

Mayor Karen Weaver: Two more years of water filter use for Flint.

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Today is Day 529 since Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder admitted that the city of Flint had had its drinking water poisoned with the powerful neurotoxin lead through the actions and inactions of his appointed Emergency Managers. The true span since their water has been unsafe to drink, of course, is much longer than that.

There’s been very little news coming out of Flint for a couple of weeks now but we finally have something to report and it’s not good. Not good at all. According to Flint Mayor Karen Weaver, it will be at least two more years before the citizens of Flint can drink water from their tap without filtering it first to remove poisons and toxins:

Mayor Karen Weaver and the head of Flint’s underground pipe replacement program said Tuesday they think it will be more than two years until they can recommend residents drink their tap water without filters.

Weaver and retired Brig. Gen. Michael C. McDaniel told reporters they do not anticipate giving an “all clear” until crews have removed every lead service line in the city, a process they expect to complete by the end of 2019 — if they receive enough funding.

“There have been constant improvements (in water quality), there’s no question about that, but I don’t consider that an all clear,” McDaniel said shortly before his speech at a national water infrastructure conference in Flint.

As a reminder, water filters do not work with hot water so bathing and showering will continue to be a monumental task for the people of Flint unless they are willing to risk exposure to lead. And, while replacement of lead water service lines continues at a snail’s pace, nothing at all has been done or is even being discussed about how to compensate Flint residents for the damage done to their appliances and plumbing due to the use of corrosive Flint River water for the better part of a year or for the catastrophic loss in home values in the beleaguered city. These people have been victimized through no fault of their own and they will never be made whole after their lives were destroyed by Gov. Rick Snyder’s determination that government should be run like a business where costs are cut wherever and whenever possible.

This is our state’s shame and this is our nation’s shame.

Day 529. When they are able to drink their tap water without a filter to make it non-poisonous, it will be past Day 1,200. Think about that every time you draw a glass of water, cook with water, or shower with water directly from your tap.

  • judyms9

    The state has indeed been run like a business, a big business, one that the owners exploit then destroy and move on by way of bankruptcy or the Bain Capital treatment of creative destruction. Unlike most of us, the kleptocrats running things do not require a sense of community because they can pull up stakes and relocate at any time. We keep electing those who are truly indifferent to a community’s needs because their goal is to move to higher levels of power. (Remember when Rick Snyder actually thought he packed the gear to be president?)
    Mayor Weaver appears to be fighting the good fight on this. We have to hope that her team’s efforts pay off or she will be the mayor of a city that died twice, both times due to business failures.

  • Horace Boothroyd III

    A small but important disagreement: you write “As a reminder, water filters do not work with hot water so bathing and showering will continue to be a monumental task for the people of Flint unless they are willing to risk exposure to lead.”

    My understanding as a chemist is that lead can not be absorbed through the skin – only by ingestion and inhalation.

    OSHA agrees: “Lead (except for certain organic lead compounds not covered by the standard, such as tetraethyl lead) is not absorbed through your skin. ” ( Section II of https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=STANDARDS&p_id=10031 )

    This is important because I understand that Flint is suffering an outbreak of Shigella food poisoning – which itself is a significant public health threat – stemming from people not washing their hands out of fear of lead poisoning.

    So I suggest that you get some comfirmation on my claims here and, should you be satisfied that my thinking is correct, amend your valuable work here to educate people that the danger of food poisoning from not washing is greater than the danger of lead poisoning – just take care not to drink from the shower.

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