Is Flint Headed for Another Water Crisis?
Flint’s next water crisis might be closer than we think, and worst part is that we haven’t even solved the first crisis.
It’s been over a year since the lead contamination went public, and many are still dealing with the problem. Not only did the “switch back to Detroit water and see if the pipes re-coat themselves” method not work, it also ate a large chunk of time where we could’ve been replacing service lines instead. Unless Flint gets its act together quick, and I do mean quick, the Flint water crisis will become the Flint water crises, as in more than one crisis.
Looming on the horizon is the end of our ability to receive water from Detroit, via the Great Lakes Water Authority. Regardless of whatever deals are made, we will be unable to receive Detroit water because a 9-mile section of their pipeline will no longer be available to us. Flint planned on joining the Karegnondi Water Authority by now, but is still logistically incapable of making that jump. Before we can switch, we have to build a three mile pipeline, complete upgrades to the water treatment plant, choose a backup water source, and prove we can both treat the water properly, and have qualified staff to do so — none of which has been accomplished yet.
Earlier this week, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy wrote Mayor Karen Weaver a letter outlining all of the aforementioned steps in detail. McCarthy warned that those tasks are both necessary, and challenging to accomplish in the 12 months Flint has to do so.
So what does all of this mean? I’m not the expert, but it sounds an awful lot like we could be without a viable water source if Weaver & Co don’t get their act together right now. If the speed at which they are replacing the city’s service lines and the recent garage debacle are any indication of their ability to get things done — Flint could be in some serious trouble this time next year.
AT LEAST WE’LL HAVE A CRAPPY FLINT WATER MOVIE IN A YEAR