Corrosive Pipes From Flint River is Source of Lead in Water

This+photo+shows+the+difference+between+Flint%2C+Michigan%27s+water+and+Detroit%2C+Michigan%27s+water.++

Photo Courtesy of democracynow.org

This photo shows the difference between Flint, Michigan’s water and Detroit, Michigan’s water.

The lead tainted water in Flint, Michigan is a result of a decision of the state government to switch the water supply from Lake Huron to the Flint River, according to cnn.com.

The source of the lead in the Flint River is corroded pipes, according to popsci.com. Corroded pipes were worn away and particles of the pipe which contained lead filtered into the water, according to reference.com.

The Flint River is known for its filth, according to cnn.com. “The water would come in brown and my daughter was like ‘Mom … why is the water brown?’” stated cnn.com. The change of water supply was made during a financial state of emergency, it was supposed to be temporary while a new state-run supply line to Lake Huron was ready for connection, according to cnn.com.

Researchers eighteen months later discovered that the proportion of children in Flint with above-average lead levels in their blood had doubled, stated washingtonpost.com. “Water from the Flint River was found to be highly corrosive to the lead pipes still used in some parts of the city,” reported washingtonpost.com.

After the switch, the water started to smell, look and taste funny. Residents said it often looked dirty, reported cnn.com. “A group of Virginia Tech researchers who sampled the water in 271 Flint homes last summer found some contained lead levels high enough to meet the EPA’s definition of ‘toxic waste,’” reported washingtonpost.com.

“You know, I never thought this was something that we would be begging for, crying for … clean, affordable water,” said Flint Mayor Karen Weaver to cnn.com. Lead poisoning is irreversible, reported cnn.com.

The lead effects on children are very severe. Children with lead poisoning can lead to these brain effects including the cerebellum, cerebral cortex, and hippocampus. The structure of blood vessels in the brain may also be altered which can lead to bleeding and brain swelling, reported faculty.washington.edu.

“The Flint water crisis deepens, and the lives of those living in the city are faced with the tainted water not only becoming a health risk, but they have been warned if they don’t continue to pay the city government for the poisonous water, they risk losing custody of their children,” reported inquisitr.com.

Flint’s water is still undrinkable, with average lead levels exceeding 10 parts per billion in a sample of 271 households, stated popsci.com.