The Flint Water Crisis Is A Public Health Emergency

1398 Words6 Pages
The Flint water crisis was a public health emergency that occurred only an hour from my home. It is a crisis that involved failures on multiple levels of government, including my state government. Their failures caused a preventable public health issue to increase in severity until there was irreversible damage, millions of dollars in recovery costs, and an entire city’s health at risk. It is important to look at the failures of my government and be able to recognize and identify when they are not performing their duties, so that future crisis such as this can be avoided.
Flint, Michigan is a city located 70 miles north of Detroit with a population of 98,310 (CNN, 2017). The population is 56.6% African-American and 41.2% of residents
…show more content…
The water supply was officially switched in April of 2014, and shortly after, residents began to complain about the smell and color of their water. Months after resident’s complaints were essentially ignored, E. coli and coliform bacteria were detected in the water (NPR, 2016). Residents were advised to boil their water until pipes were flushed and water was treated with chlorine. The exact same scenario occurred for a second time in September.
In January of 2015, Flint was found to be in violation of the Safe Drinking Water Act after disinfection byproducts were detected at alarming rates (NPR, 2016). Water was somehow still deemed safe for consumption, as the city was very passive in its advisories. Although E. coli, coliform bacteria, and disinfection byproducts were very serious and harmful substances found in the water supply, they would not be the main issue.
A month later, tests performed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) showed that excessive rates of lead were present in the water supply, rates that far exceeded the EPA’s limit (CNN, 2017). Another test in March indicated even higher levels of lead. A switch back to the DWSD was proposed and denied following the second test. A lawsuit was also filed against the city claiming the water to be a health risk, but the case was dismissed.
In June of 2015, the EPA issued a memo regarding the high lead levels in Flint, which was responded with

More about The Flint Water Crisis Is A Public Health Emergency

Get Access