Flint water still not safe to drink

From the September-October 2016 issue of News & Letters

Flint, Mich.—An engineering firm based in Flint, Mich., Rowe Professional Services, estimates that $80 million is needed to replace approximately 10,000 lead pipes in Flint that have been poisoning the people. Governor Rick Snyder requested a paltry $25 million. They estimate that it would take five years to replace the lead pipes and galvanized steel pipes that have been contaminated with lead.

Rowe Professional Services also says that $134 million will be needed to replace 13 miles of water mains every year for the next 50 years. The water mains are severely damaged, according to Virginia Tech professor Marc Edwards, and will fail unless replaced. Already water leakage is a big factor in Flint citizens’ extraordinarily high water bills. The average age of water pipes here is 83 years. The good news is that Edwards says that lead content has decreased sharply, although the water is still not safe to drink.

—Dan B.

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