H2Ewww in Flint, Michigan

Residents in Flint Michigan are thirsty for answers after their water supply has become undrinkable.

Taps in Flint are spewing brown contaminated liquid rather than safe, clean drinking water. To add insult to injury, residents are being asked to continue paying up to $200 a month for the privilege.

News of the contaminated “water” made a splash a few months back when penny-pinching city officials made the decision to switch the supply from Detroit to the local Flint River in 2014.

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President Obama has declared a state of emergency in Flint, Michigan, unlocking $5m in federal funding. Governor Rick Snyder claims that earlier requests of $31m had been denied by the federal goverment. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Response to the crisis has been slow; President Obama only recently calling a state of emergency after cases of lead poisoning, falling hair and skin rashes made it to the mainstream.

As if the dirty water wasn’t hard enough to swallow, residents are also being asked to continue paying up to $200 a month for the privilege of receiving the toxic liquid.

Flint officials have confirmed that although the water is now coming from Detroit, it could be a year or more before it is safe again. In the meantime, bottled water and filters are being distributed to people living in the area.

Pipework in the city Flint, Michigan corroded by water coming from the Flint River. Particles of lead contained within the pipes made its way into the water supply making it smelly, brown and ultimately poisonous. (Photo: Min Tang and Kelsey Pieper via flintwaterstudy.org)

Quite rightly, the crisis is garnering worldwide attention fuelled by celebrities and social media, with officials standing accused of deliberately poisoning the predominantly black city.

While it may be a step too far to make accusations of deliberately putting Flint’s inhabitants in danger, it is clear their cost saving measures did not pay any notice to the duty of care for those living there.

You would be forgiven for mistaking the bottles for urine samples or even ale. However this is water collected from taps in Flint since its supply became contaminated.


Claims the river was known for being dirty and corrosive will have to be answered by those in charge –- no doubt high-ranking figures will lose their jobs if there is any justice in this world. However, heads rolling will do nothing to reverse the high levels of lead found in children in the area since the debacle began.

Flint River. Hoping to turn this into safe water is perhaps a feat as miraculous as Jesus turning water into wine.

What started off as a cost saving measure could end up crippling the city financially as lawsuits by those affected start mounting up. However, there is always a chance Flint officials manage to wriggle their way out of this one which would undoubtedly leave a bitter taste in the the mouths of Flint’s residents.