The water in Flint Michigan has reached a level where it can officially be called contaminated waste because of the extreme lead and chemical content in the water.
With the president declaring the situation in Flint a national emergency along with much discussion on the topic in this year’s presidential election primarily on the democratic side, this crisis has become a very large issue.
2011 was the year when the seeds were planted for this problem to grow. Flint was broke and half of its population had left the city because of the car factories shutting down. The city had to drastically reduce spending. Extreme measures were taken, they had cut their police force by half and had to implement emergency managers.
As vox describes these managers can make cost cutting measures without the standard political procedure. These managers had decided that they must cut spending on water and in order to do so they had to stop buying water from Detroit and so begin pulling water from the Flint river.
Soon after the switch was made there were several complaints from residents saying that it tasted strange and had an odor.
The environmental protection agency leaked a report of to a local activist. The report had stated that the water of Flint was clearly contaminated with very high levels of lead. In about 20% of the housing, there was too much lead and the pipes were severely corroded.
Lead is damaging to the body and it causes severe irreversible mental disorders. In the city, this lead contamination had most affected the innocent children from ages 5 and below.
Despite the situation being solved now, these problems will take decades and a lot more money to completely fix.