By Ashley Dominguez

 Artwork by Sonia Perez
Artwork by Sonia Perez

The city of Flint, Michigan is in a state of emergency due to residents being poisoned by their drinking water. How did the water become toxic? The city of Flint switched their water source from the city of Detroit to the Flint River in Michigan back in April of 2014. The toxic levels of lead from the pipes the city is using are a contributing factor to the thousands of children who are now being hospitalized with lead poisoning.

Flint is an extremely poor community, so the state governor Rick Snyder found ways to cut costs by switching to the local Flint River saving an estimated $1 million dollars a year. The problem is that the water from Detroit comes from the fresh water Lake Huron, while the Flint River is tainted by sewage and farm runoff. The contamination in the river isn’t what caused the lead poisoning, but rather it was the lead pipes that became the source of the problem.

Apparently, the water from the Flint River is corrosive enough to remove lead from the pipes and leech it into the water affecting the public. Citizens began to raise concerns when the water from their faucets seemed discolored. Many advocated switching the water back, but the city of Flint decided that it was too expensive to switch back. Currently the city is under a state of emergency. The federal government has gotten involved to resolve the problem and state health officials have stated that every child under six in Flint should now be considered lead-exposed, totaling 9,000 children.

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