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Flint Water Fears – Zoo to Sustainable

Flint Water Fears

The Situation

Perhaps you’ve heard about the situation in Flint, Michigan. Maybe you are familiar with it, or maybe you’ve only seen snippets from your news feeds on social media. So what is actually going on? The situation has been ongoing since 2014 and finally a state of emergency was declared in January of 2016, while the water is getting back to a healthier level for consumption, the process of fixing the system will continue until 2020. Almost 100,000 residents have been potentially exposed to lead in their water supply, which is very dangerous and can be fatal. At this point the city is replacing all the pipes and the water is back to “acceptable” levels, but residents are still cautioned to only drink filtered or bottled water. During 2016 residents were instructed to use only bottled water for all of their daily water needs, including bathing. The main causation factor for the water crisis is that Flint switched their water source in 2014 from a lake to the Flint river, which calls for a different filtering process of the water that was being pulled from the river.

The Issue

Flint river has been known to be polluted, and while the contamination levels have gotten better since the Clean Water Act, the effects from actions years ago and present actions are still taking place. The Flint river used to be a dumping ground for old tires, chemicals, and specifically road salt which is used every winter. Road salt has corrosive properties, and this has contributed greatly to the current water crisis. Since the salt has corrosive properties that means that it is eating away at the pipes used to transfer the water. So when the salty water enters the pipes it corrodes the pipes, and then when the water is filtered in the pipes chloride is used which tends to exacerbate the corrosion. When it eats at the pipes, this allows lead to leak out and to poison the water.
Lead poisoning has been affecting the people of Flint and it’s most dangerous to children since it is harmful both physically and developmentally. The water quality got so bad that even people’s pets were suffering, and animals tend to have a stronger resistance to bacteria than humans. Look at a cat, they lick their own asshole and don’t get sick nearly as often as humans!

Solutions and Why This Matters

Flint’s current solution to the problem is to replace all the corroded pipes in Flint, Michigan, a project that will cost millions of dollars to do. It’s ironic in a way because one of the main reasons for switching to Flint river was that it would cost less. It was also less regulated and quality control was not enforced.
But we need to stop thinking in the short term. The reason why Flint, Michigan matters is because, for once we are able to see how we have treated the environment will have a direct impact on us. There is really only so much that can be done to treat impure water. The Flint water crisis is something that could happen anywhere if the wrong decisions are made, but we can prevent it in the future if take innovative action now to secure the future for ourselves and future generations.

Take care,

Zoo to eigo,


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