The real culprit in the Flint crisis is not the governor, or any of the mayors. The water from the Flint river corroded the pipes, causing them to leach lead into the water. The solution to this problem is to replace the pipes! Lead is a poisonous metal and we have known this for a very long time. Use copper, or PEX, or anything besides fucking lead! Putting people in jail will do nothing. People are too focused on finding someone to blame, and don’t seem interested in real solutions.
Remember when there was all that talk about investing in infrastructure? May want to have a chat with the members of Congress who argued it was too expensive to do so. Our infrastructure is old and falling apart and no one wants to pay to upgrade it.
Plus, the city doesn’t own the pipes from the street to the house in some places, so it’s on the owner of the house to replace at least part of the lead pipes. You get your water tested when you buy the house, and if it’s lead-free, you figure you’re good. People in Flint were not so lucky.
And if you have decent quality water, the lead oxides that form on the inside of the pipes do a damn fine job of keeping lead from leaching into the water. Lead pipes don’t rupture when you have frost heaves and they are easy to connect to your house service.
All of this would have been avoided if the PTB had not decided to save money by purchasing substandard water.
I have my doubts that it was for cost cutting as well. I bet the provider of the shitty river water was politically connected.
The problem is that after they switched and learned that there was lead in the water, some people did nothing to fix it.
Never mind, then.
P.S. By “some people” I meant the authorities, not homeowners.
Sounds interesting. How many miles of pipe are we talking about?
The city says they’d need to replace 1600 miles of piping at a cost of 1.5 billion. Snyder says it would cost 700million.
There are about 15,000 homes in the city with lead service lines. Those aren’t even the cities responsibility but it’s not like in a city with a 40% poverty rate the home owners will be able to foot their share of the bill.
The pipes are not made of lead. They’re sealed at the joints with lead. And it doesn’t leach out unless the water is too acidic so it’s necessary to maintain the PH level. This isn’t expensive to do. It just has to be properly monitored. What has probably happened is that their monitoring system didn’t sample sufficiently to catch this and it wasn’t a problem until they switched to a more acidic water. By the time it’s reached deep into the infrastructure it’s now a problem for houses with internal water supplies assembled with lead solder.
In my area the water is pulled from glacial till composed of oceanic limestone. It’s the opposite and is too basic. They have to pull the limestone out of the water.
since the pipes aren’t the problem then replacing them isn’t the solution. They need to reduce the acidity in the pipes. In the mean time it would be cheaper to install water filters for drinking water.
The pipes are made out of lead. It’s a common trait in a lot of older cities. In flints case it appears it’s mostly service connections that are lead pipe. Lead wasn’t as good a material for larger diameter pipes so lead mains are rare.
The connectors belong to and are the responsibility of the home owner (at least in my city). The city pipes are most likely iron.
The city is responsible for maintaining a proper ph balance and failed so the fix is to re-establish proper levels and hand out filters until it’s back to normal. This isn’t a zillion dollar crisis.
I’m not saying replacing the all the piping is a necessary solution at this time. I responded to a question with a factual answer.
Lead leaching into the water can be managed with treatment to reduce the lead content below the current EPA standard. Smaller amounts can still be measured in many cases. As any amount of lead is an issue it’s expected that the EPA standard will become more stringent as time goes on. The long term solution that many cities have taken is to replace all lead piping in the city. It’s not an unreasonable position to want to replace lead piping.
If it’s city pipe maybe. But again, the problem is not city pipe any more than shingles are on houses. It’s the homeowner’s responsibility. If homeowners want new pipe they can pay for it or they could install a filter system which is a good solution to the problem.
As I mentioned up thread it’s an economically depressed area the average home owner can’t afford to replace their section of piping nor do they have filtration equipment in their budget.
Even if it if the source of the lead were solely lead service connections(which in this case it isn’t, there is other lead in the system) those service connections are part of the system and can not be isolated. Lead contamination from service connections can still leach into the larger system. While one person may have a newer HDPE connection they could still be getting lead in their home due to the neighbors with an older lead service connection.
Overall the entire problem is economic. There are multiple different ways to address the issues, they all cost money. Saying hey poor people fix your own shit doesn’t do anything for anyone.
The city failed to maintain water quality and is responsible for the increased levels of lead that extends to reasonable efforts to reduce it to acceptable levels.
Is the city responsible for roof shingles because the home owner is broke? No.
I can tell you first hand the city didn’t care I was unemployed when my gas line didn’t pass a leak test. Not one wit. They simply shut the line off.
you’re right, there are different ways to address the problem in Flynt. It would be irresponsible to choose a more expensive one because of public outcry. And that’s where this is headed.
I think there’s a good chance that doing so would go a long way to fixing the problem. In fact, I’d say it’s a lead pipe cinch.
So would a filter system. It would also clean out other impurities.
The pipes were fine before and will be fine in the future when they properly treat the water. Spending a 1/4 billion dollars to fix a non-problem means that money isn’t used for other future problems.