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The Flint, Michigan Water Crisis

            Hundreds of Flint residents filled the street in front of city hall carrying clear bottles filled with dirty water from their homes' faucets. Chanting "We want answers!," the group rightfully demanded action on the poor water quality found throughout the city. It started about two years ago when the city of Flint switched its water source from Detroit's system to the Flint River as a cost-saving measure for the struggling city. The Flint City Council voted to switch water sources to the more economical Flint River, using an old system with deteriorating pipes and processes. After three boil-water advisories due to high bacteria levels, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) issued a governor's statement advising for water treatment to reduce the bacteria. At the same time, General Motors discontinued using Flint water because it caused damage to engine parts. It's outrageous that residents were drinking and bathing in water which was not acceptable for manufacturing plants due to its corrosive qualities. The government's slow reaction to admit or correct the water problem is a reflection of poor leadership and an attempt to cover up their incompetency.
             By February of 2015, a Flint resident notified the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of high lead levels in her home (CNN Library). The ACLU became involved and discovered tests performed by Virginia Tech University and the MDEQ indicating lead levels as high as 13,200 parts per billion (ppb) while the acceptable level is 15 ppb. It was determined that deteriorating plumbing fixtures and pipes could not accommodate the highly corrosive water pulled from the Flint River. In October of 2015, the city switched back to the Detroit system for water supply. Not until January of 2016 did the governor declare a state of emergency (CNN Library). The incident attracted national media attention and further intensified Flint's negative reputation as a deteriorating community.

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