In 2014 as a cost cutting measure, the Emergency Manager put in place by the governor of Michigan to administer the city of Flint, decided to stop buying water from the City of Detroit, and instead to draw the city’s water from the Flint River.
Shortly after the change, the local GM plant stopped using city water, saying that it was corroding car parts. Residents complained about the smell, taste and colour of the water, saying that it was causing skin rashes and hair loss.
Now, research from local paediatricians has shown that the number of children in Flint with elevated lead levels in their blood has gone up since the change over of the water source. The corrosive water has been leaching lead out of lead pipes and lead solder.
Citizens of Flint have been advised not to drink the tap water, unfiltered.