Communities

Flint Resident Gives a First-Hand Account of the Water Crisis

by Tod Perry

February 9, 2016
via Twitter

Two years ago, the state of Michigan decided to save money by switching the city of Flint’s water supply from Lake Huron to the notoriously-polluted Flint River. Around half of the service lines in Flint are made with lead so when the poorly-treated water came rushing through the pipes, the water supply was poisoned. The citizens of Flint showered, drank, and cooked with the toxic water for 18 months while the city told them it was safe. Finally, the city’s water supply was water was reverted back to the safer water from Lake Huron, but the damage was done. Now, many of the pipes throughout the city are contaminated and beyond repair.  

A new video has surfaced that shows just how Flint’s water crisis is affecting its residents on a personal level. The interview below shows a woman whose family is suffering seizures, anemia, bone loss, bone breakage, liver failure, diverticulitis, and breathing issues. To make things worse, there’s a looming financial crisis that residents may face as well. “We pay the highest rates in the nation for the lowest quality of water,” the resident says. Not only are they being overcharged, many face punishment for not paying for the city’s poisoned water.

“Historically in Flint, if you don’t pay your water bill they will shut you off after 90 days, cap your sewer, and then they can condemn your home,” the resident says. “And if you don’t have proper hygiene for your kid, then CPS gets called in.” Failure to pay your water bill can even result in losing your home. “If you don’t pay your water bill they will put a tax lien on your property that includes your back water bill...16,000 people have lost their homes...Now they keep saying they put a ‘pause’ on shut-offs [notices] since we made it a huge national deal…and we’re still getting water bills.” 

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Flint Resident Gives a First-Hand Account of the Water Crisis