Two people who were connected to the Flint water company investigation were both found dead in the space of a week this month.
The Flint water crisis began exactly two years ago, on April 2014, when Flint changed its water source from treated Detroit Water and Sewerage Department water to the Flint River – to which officials had failed to apply corrosion inhibitors. Almost immediately, Flint residents complained about the water’s color, taste and odor. In the following months, numerous water issues arose, with little to no governmental action to fix them.
- August and September 2014 boil-water advisories were issued by the city due to coliform bacteria detection
- On August 21, 2014 test showed the city’s water tested high for THMs, a chlorine byproduct of disinfecting water, with which long term exposure has been linked to cancer and other diseases.
- Though the city stated that the water was safe, the employees of the Flint Public Library declared the water undrinkable after noticing that the water from the faucets and toilets was discolored.
- On March 2, 2016, it was reported that the state of Michigan blocked Flint from returning to Lake Huron water from the Detroit water system when it agreed to grant the city an emergency loan of $7 million in April 2015
- It was discovered that the high levels of lead were due to orthophosphate being omitted from the water treatment process, while using a pH of 7.4 and that the orange water was due to the high concentration of chloride in the Flint River water, which caused excessive corrosion of the cast iron mains pipes.
Far from taking decisive action, governments denied that the water was toxic.