« Return to News

Water crisis in Flint declared public health emergency

Last Updated Oct 2, 2015 1:47 PM EDT

A public health emergency has been declared in cash-strapped Flint, Michigan, after tests showed the city’s water supply is causing elevated levels of lead in children, following months of complaints about the smell and taste.

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder announced Friday that the state will spend $1 million to buy water filters and immediately test water in public schools in Flint. He also announced expanded health exposure testing, continued free water testing, and quicker steps to ensure that water from the Flint River is effectively treated.

The problems arose after the city broke away from Detroit’s water system in 2014 and began taking water from the Flint River to save money, pending the completion of a new regional pipeline in 2016.

On Thursday, the Genesee County health department declared a public health emergency, recommending that people not drink the water unless it has been filtered and tested to rule out elevated levels of lead. More steps will be announced Friday.

more…