The state of Michigan has been ordered to fund the replacement of water lines within the city of Flint to finally provide adequate and drinkable water to the city’s residents. This demand comes after years of building concern for the water’s quality and harmful lead levels.
Flint’s water issue has grown since an initial complaint in 2014, following the state’s choice to reroute the water supply from Lake Huron to the Flint River in an attempt to save money in the increasingly unemployed city.
“The water plants are not the problem. It is the pipes,” Ed Miller, political science professor at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, said.
Miller went on to explain that water is tested within the plants, not straight from the faucets of citizens where the contamination arises. The rerouted pipes from the Flint River infected the water flowing to residents with dangerous amounts of lead.
Local and state government played a large role in the choice to change the water line and water supply due to rising economic worry.
Flint will use the money to replace the water pipes by 2019.
Attempting to replace the water lines and bring them back to safe, consumable levels will be a costly feat.
Not to mention, “they don’t know where the water lines are,” said Miller. “There was an issue with the maps, they were not accurate.”
Without knowledge of where the water lines are, it will be difficult to replace the ones causing the contamination.
There is concern about the Flint water being an issue of race, with the recognition that Flint is a majority African American city.
The Civil Rights Commission issued a report titled “The Flint Water Crisis: Systematic Racism Through the lens of Flint,” which brought forth the notion that systemic racism allowed Flint to “fall beneath the cracks to face cost saving matters at the expense of citizens.”
Although there has been success, the fight is far from over.
Flint remains crippled by automation and the closing of major General Motors plants leaving much of the population unemployed.
Regardless, the government will now replace poorly regulated pipelines from the Flint River to the homes of more than 90,000 residents within the city’s limits.