The Michigan Government’s Mistake

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In April of 2014, the people of Flint, Michigan lost their right to water and sanitation.

It has been over five years since the water crisis started. However, it is still not solved yet, and the people of Flint have had toxic water for five years now. The crisis happened because the Michigan government wanted to save money, so they changed water sources; however, they did not see the bigger picture that doing this water source change was going to do more harm than good. Michigan wanted to save money by switching the source, but in the end, the amount to fix the pipes will cost more money then they were planning to save. Another reason why the water became bad is that the pipes that take in water from the Flint River are heavily corroded. Currently, Flint’s water is toxic due to its lead levels, but before this, everything was fine. The Detroit water source was good, clean, and reliable, but the Michigan government decided to start using water from the Flint River as the main source of water for Flint. The problem here is that the Flint River is highly polluted. Due to the river not being properly treated when this contaminated water came in contact with the aging pipes, this caused lead to leak into the water supply leading to a sudden increase in lead in the water.

The pipes are heavily corroded to the point that the water now has color. The color of the water should have been an indication that it was harmful because the water coming out of the faucets and the bathroom shower heads should not be brown or orange. The citizens started to complain about the water having an unusual color and smell right after they noticed what came out of their faucets (Jurkiewicz, 2016, 234). The condition of the water will not improve anytime soon unless serious action is taken. At the moment, the Flint River water is more corrosive than the water of Lake Huron. According to the research conducted in 2011, it was revealed that Flint River contained poisons nineteen times higher than that of Lake Huron (Jurkiewicz, 2016, 233). Nevertheless, Michigan officials avoided acknowledging the fact that there is a water crisis. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency announced that Michigan officials knew about the lead pollution on February 26, 2015, a year after they had learned about it (Shen, 2017, 2). Flint’s water varies in colors, but one thing that has in common is that it is not safe. People have died due to Flint’s water. It is clear that there is a problem, and the government needs to take further action. What they are doing now is not enough. They are still putting people’s lives at risk.

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The impact of Flint’s water has done so much to the residents of Flint, from killing people, to giving people lead sickness, to making daily activities hard. Flint’s toxic water is so versatile that it is affecting everyone. The rich are affected and of course, so are the poor. It does not matter where the person comes from because each person will have bad water running out of their faucets. However, there is a difference between the rich and the poor. In this situation, the difference is that some rich people may be able to fix their dirty water with a filter, whereas some poor people may not be able to do the same thing as them. More importantly, some people may still have trouble trusting their water just because of how toxic the water is. Is a filter really strong enough to make it safe to drink? There are two major effects of this water crisis. People might suffer from lead poisoning, and all the people of Flint will have difficulty in daily activities.

Lead poisoning occurs when too much lead is in contact with the body. Lead can enter the body by breathing it in, consuming it by either eating or drinking it, and lastly by simply touching it (“Lead poisoning,” n.d.). Unfortunately for the people in Flint, they are exposed to water highly contaminated with lead. This means that the lead is able to enter their body by them simply drinking or using the water for daily activities. Symptoms of lead poising are abdominal pain, irritability, and death, lead poisoning in kids though comes with other side effects such as a delay in their development and changes in their brain (Newman, 2018). Lead poisoning is bad all around, but for kids who are under the age of six, it is when things start to become very dangerous. Children are already sensitive to lead, but for those who are six and under, it is very dangerous because the lead poisoning can damage the child both mentally and physically to the point where it is irreversible (Newman, 2018). In short, the Flint residents can potentially get so sick to the point that they can die. Not only are adults in danger, but children are also at risk and can be hurt for the rest of their lives. If these people are wanting to live and not get sick or hurt, they have no choice at all but to not use their water at all. Knowing this the hard way, the Flint people have had to change their way of living so that they are able to survive. Despite the efforts of the people of Flint, no one in America should have to change their ways of living by this much just to survive.

The situation in Flint does not sound like something that would happen in America, a country that is well developed and has money should not have its people living like this. Imagine living in a city with a reliable water source, and then one day the water coming from the faucets and showerheads gives out water that is a brownish color, then to later find out that the water is toxic. That is what the people of Flint had to go through and are still going through. The city of Flint has water, but at the same time, no water at all because that water is so deadly that it changes every aspect of living. People in Flint are using bottled water to get by just to do daily necessities such as brushing their teeth, washing their clothes, cooking for themselves, and lastly to consume (Sanburn, 2017). What will happen to them if they were to stop receiving donations of bottled water? Currently, some of the people in Flint get their water through donations (Ruiz-Grossman, 2016). The answer is that a lot of people would get sick and more deaths would be to come. If people could move, they would. However, it is costly to find a new place, so they do what they can to get by despite their situation. In sum, it is required for the people living in Flint, Michigan to use a filter if they plan to drink tap water or buy bottled water for daily activities (Sanburn, 2017). A living situation like this does not sound like it is in America. It would sound normal if this is happening in a developing country, but this is happening in the most developed countries in the world. These people need as much help as possible because as it is shown so far, the government is not doing enough. This crisis started in April 2014 and as of October 2019 is still ongoing, which makes it a total of five years. The American government is failing its people, so the next best thing to do is to get the people of the world to help. The people of the world may not have the same power as the government, but they can definitely make an impact in helping the crisis come to an end. Flint, Michigan’s water crisis can be fixed with government aid and people’s support.

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