It’s mind-blowing that residents of Flint, MI, are still without clean water after the poor decisions of state officials almost three years later.
As if not having clean water is enough, residents must now pay the full cost of their water, which still has not been declared safe to drink without an approved filter.
This week state officials are slated to end a program that has given residents a 65 percent credit each month on their water bill. Since 2014, the state has spent nearly $41 million in credits to help offset local utility costs.
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder’s spokesperson, Anna Heaton said the credits are ending “because the city’s water meets all federal water quality standards under the Lead & Copper Rule and Safe Drinking Water Act, the same standards as other cities.”
Heaton added that the state will continue to provide water filters and filter replacement cartridges “to assure residents that the water is safe for consumption even as lead service line replacement is underway.”
Flint mayor Karen Weaver said the state should continue to offer credits for residents’ water bill until it’s tap-drinkable without a filter.”
Weaver also criticized the state officials for giving short notice about the credits ending. She suggested they continue through March and possibly longer.
Residents are still advised not to drink the water unless it has been properly filtered and many residents don’t use it for cooking or bathing. Instead, they use bottled water.
Now that Flint residents are responsible for paying the full amount of their water bills, the amount of delinquent accounts are expected to rise. Delinquent accounts will not only hinder the city’s ability to pay for water sourced from Detroit and a more permanent water source, but also residents with delinquent accounts will not be eligible to have their aging pipes replaced.
Since the city has switched its water source from the Detroit water supply to the Flint river, it has caused a slew of public health problems, including high concentrations of E. coli bacteria and a recent outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease that killed 10.
We hope this matter is fixed sooner than later because there’s no reason American citizens should not have clean water.