A closer look at the current state of Flint water and the national impact
On Dec. 14, 2015, Flint, Mich., announced a State of Emergency in response to the water crisis. Reflecting two years later on this monumental water quality anniversary, Flint has replaced more than 6,200 water service lines and brought an essential awareness of aging water infrastructure in the U.S.
The root of the Flint, Mich., water crisis rested in a failure to apply corrosion inhibitors when the town switched over to water from the Flint River. This resulted in the aging infrastructure weathering away and running into the community’s water supply. The town combated the crisis through a complete overhaul of the water infrastructure, in-home water filter systems and public water distribution sites.
Since the days of wide spread water quality panic, the city now only offers four water distribution sites and the state of Michigan is considering concluding free bottled water service in Flint. Recently, lead levels have tested below the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) regulatory standard and state officials consider the water safe. Residents, however, are wary to trust the tap water still.
The water crisis prompted a national awareness of aging infrastructure and water quality issues. Already, Grand Rapids, Mich., has launched a new policy to fund replacement of lead water line pipes and water infrastructure. The questions remain: Where will Flint be on the third year anniversary of the water crisis State of Emergency? Where will the U.S. be in regards to our lead water quality standards and infrastructure replacement?