Day after day, month after month, the people of Flint, Michigan, were poisoned by increasing amounts of lead and other toxins coming from the city’s water supply. The poisoning began in April 2014, when the source of the city’s drinking water was switched from Detroit to the Flint River. The switch was to be a temporary one, as the city prepared to get its water from Lake Huron. During the switch, Flint city officials cut corners and knowingly allowed corrosive water to leach lead from the inside of water pipes for thousands of households across the city.
A memo sent out to Governor Rick Snyder in February 2015, proves that Flint city and the state of Michigan knew about the water crisis but did nothing about it, sometimes mocking the severity of the problem. The memo made it “clear that folks in Flint are concerned about other aspects of their water – taste, smell and color being among the top complaints.” In fact, the memo discussed the water quality problems in detail, bringing attention to a contaminant called total trihalomethanes, which can lead to liver and kidney problems.