State and Federal Government Still Resisting Efforts to Save Flint

Four years after the water crisis began in Flint, Michigan, government officials are still debating the best practices to guarantee safety for the city’s residents.

Last Friday (October 12), mayors from across the United States convened in Flint to discuss the urgent—and spreading—crisis of water contamination in the country. At the United States Conference of Mayors meeting, officials shared information on water technology, management methods and financing initiatives for water infrastructure developments. In addition, Flint mayor Karen Weaver updated attendees on the state of the water in Flint, including the ongoing replacement of the city’s lead and galvanized steel pipes.

The Flint water crisis was prompted by an April 2014 decision to switch the majority-Black city’s water source from the Great Lakes Water Authority to the Flint River. It resulted in a doubling of the percentage of Flint children with elevated levels of lead in their blood. In addition, there was a decrease in fertility and an increase in infant deaths as a result of the lead. Among the fatalities were 12 people who died from Legionnaire’s Disease linked to the toxic water. Approximately another 90 residents contracted it and lived—making it the third largest outbreak of Legionnaire’s in United States history. Per Rewire.News:

Legionnaires’ disease is a severe form of pneumonia caused by a waterborne bacteria called Legionella pneumophila. The bacteria exists naturally in freshwater systems but becomes a problem when it is can grow and multiply. Warm water with depleted levels of disinfectant foster that growth, and people get sick by inhaling mist or vapor from contaminated water systems. 10-17-18

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