By: Emily Guiles
The city of Flint Mich. is currently going through an ongoing battle with their water and piping. Virginia Tech professor Marc Edwards, who has dealt with these circumstances before in Washington in 2010, has been investigating the water and its lead levels and has confirmed that they are some of the highest he had ever seen. Edwards shared this information with the Environmental Protection Agency, but was ignored by a high ranking EPA official who in turn told the Mayor of Flint the everything was fine.
As Edwards kept his investigation going he issued a Freedom of Information Act request for documents and emails from officials in the city of Flint in order to see how much they knew. After receiving the information it was clear that they knew a lot, but said nothing about the problem.
Flint resident Desiree Gaylor spoke up about the hard times in Flint. Gaylor stated that the residents, including schools and other public areas, have been told prior that the water was fine to use. But recently they have been notified that they need to use filters on the tap water, which the city provided. However they were not given any filters for showers and bathes and have been informed that they should limit their showers to 10 minutes each, if that.
Despite these warnings Gaylor still reports that her and her family still experience skin irritation and sickness after using the contaminated water.
Another issue Gaylor explains is that some people in her community are paying water bills that are as high as $700 a month, but are unable to use most of their water.
There has been a large push to provide Flint with clean water. On February 9th some clubs from Muskegon Community College collected water to send to Flint. Although the water is helping against sickness from the residents drinking the water, however it is not a long term solution to the issue. The long term solution is to fix the piping system. It was estimated that an endeavor like fixing all the piping in Flint could take up to 10 years, and Flint claims that they do not have the funds to pull it off.