Michigan will end Flint's free bottled water program

As Michigan ends a free bottled water program in Flint claiming the water quality has been restored, some residents d...

Posted: Apr 8, 2018 8:07 AM
Updated: Apr 8, 2018 8:07 AM

As Michigan ends a free bottled water program in Flint claiming the water quality has been restored, some residents don't believe it's safe to drink or use yet.

Testing has showed the levels of lead in the city's water are below the federal limit and the water's quality is "well within the standards," Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder announced Friday.

Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, a pediatrician who was among the first who noticed rising levels of blood lead levels in Flint's children, provoking the governor to acknowledge the crisis, was disappointed with Friday's decision.

"This is wrong. Until all lead pipes are replaced, state should make available bottled water and filters to Flint residents," she tweeted.

The free bottled water program was part of a $450 million state and federal aid package. The state had been handing out bottled water and filters at several distribution points across the city and will stop once the current supply runs out.

"Bottled water may be ending but the state's commitment to the residents of Flint remains strong," said Rich Baird, senior adviser to Snyder, in a statement.

'I don't trust the water'

Nearly four years after the devastating crisis began, many residents in Flint can't believe it's safe to drink the city's water.

Ariana Hawk has relied heavily on bottled water after three of her children developed rashes on their legs, arms and faces.

They had been drinking and bathing in the tainted water for months before discovering it was contaminated.

"I don't trust the filter, I don't trust the water," Hawk told CNN affiliate WJRT. "Everything that me and my kids do from cooking to boiling their water for a bath, we're using bottled water, I do not trust anything."

Like Hawk, many in Flint have not opened their taps for years. They brush their teeth and wash their faces only using bottled water.

On Friday, residents rushed to the four remaining water distribution centers across the city as they tried to get a last batch of the government sponsored water.

Leetonio Parks loaded his SUV with two stacks of water bottles that he said would likely last his family about two days.

"It's like they don't care," Parks told CNN affiliate WNEM about state officials. "I just wished they can come out here and live for a week or a day and see how people are living in this neighborhood."

Another resident, Debra Coleman said it's unlikely she would drink the city's water again.

"I don't trust the water. Period," Coleman told WNEM. "It could be five years from now and I'll still never drink this water."

What happened in Flint?

To save money, officials switched the city's water source in 2014 from Lake Huron to the Flint River, which is 19 times more corrosive, according to researchers from Virginia Tech.

Soon, the water started to look, smell and taste odd.

The switch caused lead to leach from pipes into the city's drinking water. People experienced rashes and hair loss when high levels of lead were found in the local water supply.

The EPA intervened in 2016, following studies that revealed dangerous levels of lead in the city's water and a class-action lawsuit alleging that the Department of Environmental Quality wasn't treating the Flint River with an anti-corrosive agent.

The EPA enacted a Safe Drinking Water Emergency Order, which allowed it to more closely monitor and control the state and local response efforts in Flint. These efforts include rerouting the water supply, replacing corroded water pipes and distributing bottled water and filters.

Several local and state officials, including former emergency managers and water plant employees have been charged with felonies. Some were linked to a Legionnaires' outbreak that killed 12 people during the Flint water crisis.

Terre Haute
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 72°
Robinson
Clear
71° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 71°
Indianapolis
Partly Cloudy
73° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 73°
Rockville
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 68°
Casey
Partly Cloudy
71° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 71°
Brazil
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 72°
Marshall
Partly Cloudy
72° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 72°
A Calm Overnight
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Cases: 1417263

Reported Deaths: 25865
CountyCasesDeaths
Cook56345210564
DuPage938521321
Will782101042
Lake692581028
Kane60143816
Winnebago34763524
Madison32544534
St. Clair30167526
McHenry29631299
Peoria23747347
Champaign21668159
Sangamon19714245
McLean18902194
Tazewell17530308
Rock Island15406329
Kankakee14758224
Kendall13521100
LaSalle12975254
Macon11202215
DeKalb10295122
Vermilion10272154
Adams9676129
Williamson8203138
Whiteside7254174
Boone694780
Ogle630084
Grundy606279
Clinton592893
Coles5882101
Knox5738157
Jackson547765
Henry516870
Macoupin499590
Livingston494694
Woodford493183
Franklin490279
Stephenson488886
Effingham483674
Marion4804118
Jefferson4679123
Monroe452594
Randolph433287
Lee424154
Morgan414593
Fulton411059
Logan408366
Christian395575
Bureau386487
Montgomery385874
Iroquois330368
Perry329662
Fayette327056
McDonough308151
Jersey279952
Saline272957
Douglas264736
Union250642
Lawrence245327
Shelby236938
Crawford220126
Bond213824
Cass211127
Carroll205337
Pike202753
Ford195250
Hancock194632
Clark191234
Wayne190453
Warren186750
Jo Daviess183624
Richland182440
White181826
Edgar180342
Washington169525
Moultrie168628
Mason164647
De Witt161529
Piatt156714
Johnson155916
Clay155543
Greene154834
Mercer152434
Wabash149412
Massac144641
Cumberland131119
Menard128712
Jasper117018
Marshall110819
Hamilton90616
Schuyler8157
Brown8136
Pulaski7477
Stark66825
Edwards63612
Calhoun5432
Henderson53414
Gallatin5144
Scott5091
Putnam4943
Alexander49211
Hardin39612
Pope3404
Unassigned592432
Out of IL20

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Cases: 769875

Reported Deaths: 13999
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1057621807
Lake570271031
Allen43112700
Hamilton37395426
St. Joseph37377568
Elkhart29801471
Tippecanoe23544231
Vanderburgh23269405
Porter19593327
Johnson18880394
Hendricks18129323
Clark13595198
Madison13590347
Vigo12890256
Monroe12598178
LaPorte12585225
Delaware11170198
Howard10724237
Kosciusko9804124
Hancock8778150
Bartholomew8286157
Warrick8094157
Floyd8063182
Grant7387181
Wayne7244201
Boone7221105
Morgan6934143
Marshall6351117
Dubois6291118
Cass6101112
Dearborn603578
Noble602090
Henry5969111
Jackson518077
Shelby511698
Lawrence4946127
Gibson464296
Montgomery460392
DeKalb457885
Clinton457455
Harrison456477
Huntington419382
Whitley417945
Steuben411760
Miami406773
Jasper402155
Knox390491
Putnam386062
Wabash370984
Adams354456
Ripley352371
Jefferson345387
White340754
Daviess3094100
Wells304581
Greene295585
Decatur293293
Fayette287164
Posey283135
Scott282358
LaGrange278172
Clay275649
Washington255337
Randolph247983
Jennings239949
Spencer239331
Fountain236550
Starke229959
Owen223859
Sullivan222143
Fulton209145
Jay203332
Carroll198522
Orange192356
Perry190639
Vermillion181544
Rush178327
Tipton173448
Franklin172935
Parke156116
Pike143034
Blackford138132
Pulaski123848
Newton123536
Benton109915
Brown106443
Crawford106216
Martin92515
Warren88015
Switzerland8468
Union73610
Ohio58511
Unassigned0429