August Is National Water Quality Month

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Since August is the month that usually wraps up the summer, it is filled with last minute family trips to go enjoy the Great Lakes and streams that make Michigan so pleasant. It is for this reason, that sustaining water quality is so important. In fact, since the implementation of the Clean Water Act of 1972 (amended in 1977), and since an agreement was also signed in 1972 between the United States and Canada to protect and restore our Great Lakes, the water quality of the Great Lakes has improved. Another Michigan water quality problem that has not improved however, is the Flint Water Crisis. 

Flint Water Crisis

Citizens of Flint, Michigan have been without proper drinking water since 2014. According to The Detroit News, tests taken last year in August of 2016 showed that lead contaminants have been reduced to almost federal standards, however, there are still locations with very high lead levels. Karen Weaver, Mayor of Flint, believes that it will take two more years for Flint’s water to be drinkable. From July to the end of 2016, 90% of Flint lead levels have been around 12 parts per billion (ppb); the federal action level is 15 parts per billion.

Michael C. McDaniel, retired Brigadier General, stated that he wishes to see Flint residents use water filters until lead levels consistently test below 10 ppb. To reach the lower lead levels, over 20,000 pipelines must be replaced. McDaniel says the total cost for pipeline replacement will be $100 million. Mayor Weaver stated that replacing the pipes could take 3 years, that is, if they have enough funds. Over the three year period, the city has enough money to fund pipe replacements for 2017, about half the money for replacements in 2018, but not enough money for 2019.

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As of March 2017, Flint has replaced around 800 pipes, but plans to accelerate pipe replacement and have around 18,000 replaced by the end of 2019, if it can receive the amount of funds necessary. Leading up to March, Congress funded Flint a total of around $253 million, and this number only continues to grow. So thankfully, the likelihood that Flint will receive enough funds to replace 18,000 pipelines seems positive.

Tips For Sustaining Clean Water

Flint is showing positive strides in its improvement of the city’s water quality, but there are still obstacles to clear. Hopefully the city will be able to obtain the funds they need and execute the replacement of pipelines faster than they have thus far, through 2017. The overarching issue however, is that no city, or more importantly, individual should be deprived of clean water. Also, improving water quality is only half the battle. Sustaining clean water and protecting it from pollution can sometimes prove even more difficult. In honor of National Water Quality Month, below are some tips provided by Natural Choice that homeowners can use to help sustain clean water in their community:

  • Do not flush non-degradable products down the toilet. These products can damage the sewage treatment process. Also, do not flush medications down the toilet because they can prove harmful to the water supply.
  • Avoid using pesticides and other fertilizers on your yard, as they can pollute ground water. Instead, use natural fertilizers such as bone meal or peat.
  • Avoid using antibacterial soap because these soaps are known to have pesticides that can damage marine life.
  • The only thing that should go down storm drains is water because the drains flush out into waterways.
  • Make sure to clean up after your pets because their waste can fall into storm drains.
  • Stay up to date with your local water quality report and see how you can improve the water quality within your community.

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Flint Water Festival Raises Awareness for Flint Water Crisis

While many Michiganders were lighting fireworks and firing up the grill over Fourth of July weekend, the city of Flint hosted its second annual Flint Water Festival to raise awareness for its water crisis and failing infrastructure. As reported by MLive, the festival took place at Riverbank Park in Downtown Flint and consisted of music, a waterworks art program, a F.A.M.E. motivational panel, and fireworks in celebration of Independence Day. Local artists such as Lyric Da Queen, played for Flint residents for 8 hours at the park’s amphitheater. The festival also provided free children's books for families and inflatable bounce houses for kids to have fun.

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The Flint Water Crisis

If you have not heard by now, the city of Flint has been without clean water for three years. Per NPR, The crisis started in 2014 after the city decided to cut its water supply from the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department and build its own pipeline that would be connected to the Karegnondi Water Authority (KWA). This move was projected to save the city an estimated $200 million over 25 years. A year after the announcement was made to switch water suppliers in April 2013, the city of Detroit cut the supply of water to Flint. On April 25, 2014, Flint decided to use the Flint River as its water supply while the pipeline was being constructed. Shortly after the switch to the Flint River, water pipe corrosion became noticeable. After this discovery, tests were done and it was discovered that lead contaminants and bacteria such as E. coli were present in the water. Since April of 2014, Flint residents have had to live without clean running water. 

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Flint Water Crisis Aid

Last year, the first Flint Water Festival was created to inspire the children affected by the water crisis. This year the festival focused on the continued endeavor of raising awareness about what the city has been going through for the past three years. A point of emphasis was the necessity for better infrastructure. 

Luckily, the city’s calls have not been completely ignored. According to Snopes, in March, 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued a $100-million grant to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality to aid in the improvement of drinking water infrastructure. Just recently, on June 30, 2017, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services confirmed that $15-million will be donated the Genesee County Healthy Start Program. Read more about the donation on The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC Blog.

According to Money, the city has also received countless generous donations in the form of money and bottles of water. The most notable donations have come from big name celebrities such as Eminem and Mark Wahlberg, and professional athletes including Detroit Lions' defensive end Ezekiel Ansah. 

The Future of Flint

There is hope for the City of Flint. The residents have certainly shown that they are strong enough to overcome the crisis. In March of 2016, a plan was enacted outlining Flint’s recovery. According to Reuters, highlights of this plan include special medical attention for children under the age of 6 with high contents of lead in their blood, opening three new child health care centers, and replacing contaminated water faucets in numerous public facilities. The plan is also said to provide continued replacement of water pipes, more options for mortgage financing for undervalued homes, and new training programs to at least 500 resident for long-term employment. Rick Snyder, Governor of Michigan, said primary focuses of the plan are the improvement of children’s health care, expanding support of Flint Schools, and the city’s economic development. 


The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC is a Birmingham, Michigan personal injury firm. Our firm handles personal injury lawsuits throughout the state. Call 844.464.3476 today to speak to an experienced injury attorney today. We offer free consultations and honest and fair legal representation.