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Here's how hard it will be to unpoison Flint's water

Here's How Hard It Will Be to Unpoison Flint's Water | WIRED

Stashed in: Michigan

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It's hard. And it will cost at least $60 million. And take at least 15 years. Scary!

In the past few weeks, the nation’s attention has increasingly focused its attention on Flint’s public health disaster. At least 15 percent of the city’s homes have water with lead levels exceeding the safe limit established by the federal government. Several of those homes had water with lead levels 900 times above the safe limit. Poor political decisions caused the crisis, but it wouldn’t have happened at all if the lead pipes weren’t there to begin with. The current solution is a stopgap—spiking the water supply with an anticorrosive chemical. But if the powers that be want to eliminate the risk completely, they will ultimately have to replace all the lead plumbing. A September estimate, only recently released by Michigan governor Rick Snyder, puts the cost of replacing all the lead pipes in Flint at $60 million. And the project will take 15 years.

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Polluting facilities have nothing to do with the lead problem in Flint's water. Many old water systems have lead water mains, they are expensive to replace, it can be reasonably safe if they are managed to avoid leaching the lead out, which failed in Flint.

The article fails to mention this at all, the photo caption even hints at polluted river water: "Flint’s water became contaminated with lead when the city switched from the Detroit municipal system and began drawing from the Flint River in April 2014 to save the financially struggling city money." The Flint River water is safe for human consumption, unless it passes through a lead pipe. Competent water system managers could have raised the PH before it entered the lead pipes and averted the problem.

I'm not denying that the issues mentioned in the article are real, I have no doubt that Flint is an example of many kids of pollution inflicted on the poor. But the issue with the drinking water isn't pollution.

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