Lead and Legionnaires in Flint Water
This fundraiser is supported and run by several Flint residents including LeeAnne Walters and Keri Webber! On April 24, 2014, the City of Flint's Emergency Manager approved the switch from the Detroit Water and Sewer Department, Lake Huron water; to the Flint River. At the instruction of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality the Flint Water Treatment Plant did NOT add any anticorrosion control treatment to the Flint River Water. This caused the leaching of lead into the Flint Water system throughout the city of nearly 100,000 citizens. The lack of corrosion control and lack of proper chlorine also ignited the largest increase of Legionnaires in the United States. Between 2014 and 2015 over 97 people contracted Legionnaires and at least 13 died from the pnuemonia like disease.
On September 15, 2015, Virgina Tech University proved that there was indeed lead in the water going against the State of Michigans continuing claims that the water was "fine". On October 1, 2015, Rick Snyder; Governor of Michigan, finally made an announcement of legionnaires to the public.
Since November of 2015 only 6200 of the estimated 18,000 to 30,000 water lines have been replaced. Work is expected to continue until 2020 to complete all repairs. Until all work is done the water of Flint remains unsafe. When lines are placed lead particles are actually dislodged into the rest of the water lines for the house being worked on as well as those homes close by (Information provided by the EPA). Once the line is replaced it takes between 6 and 12 months for the water in the home to be lead free. The State of Michigan has also stated they will be discontinuing the supply of filters and filter cartridges to citizens of Flint at the end of this year.
Water Finally Provided to Most!
January of 2016 the State of Michigan declared a State of Emergency which was approved on the Federal level as well.
January 2016 the State started providing bottled water to the citizens of Flint. For approximately 6 weeks the Michigan National Guard was deployed and water was delivered to the doors of residents. After that time frame the State set up 9 (one per city ward) Point of Distribution Sites (PODS) where citizens could pick up water for their homes. The State was also delivering water to approximately 3200 families that were elderly, disabled or homebound. Each of the 3200 families received 10 cases of water per week.
September of 2017 the State of Michigan turned over the PODS to the City of Flint. At this point 5 PODS were closed leaving only 4 in the city. When the city took over the PODS they also accepted the responsibility of delivering water to the elderly, disabled and homebound. The city's answer was to deliver 4 cases per family weekly with a max of 16 cases per month. The City of Flint also dropped the number of those eligible from 3200 to approximately 1700 families. There has never been an explination of why the number changed so drastically.
Flint Residents Come to the Rescue!
On September 19, 2015; (5 days after learning of lead in the water), Some citizens volunteered to deliver water to fellow residents. Water that was being purchased by other residents was being loaded into vehicles and delivered city wide. While Flint was receiving generous dontations from celebrities and from the nation these volunteers continued. Eventually the State of Michigan Started providing water to Flint. However, it quickly became apparent there was a huge group of people not receiving help and they were the most vulnerable in the city. So the volunteers still were delivering water to the elderly, disabled and homebound who either were not receiving deliveries like they should, or those whose families needed more than 10 cases of water per week.
For 2 or 3 days every week the water would be delivered to those in need. That system was very effective until September 2017, when 1500 families in the city lost delivery services and 1700 families still receiving deliveries were cut to 4 cases of water per week. The average family of 4 uses approximately 12 - 15 cases of water per week. Because the water is laced with lead and possible bacteria as well, bottled water is used for all cooking, brushing teeth, pets and all consumption. Many people have had to bathe and wash up with bottled water to avoid rashes, hair loss and further illnesses. Starting in September 2017 the few volunteers found themselves supplying 67 families with water. The PODS were open from noon to 6 p.m. and they found themselves delivering water 6 days a week from 11:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. daily. This was around their own schedules and lead poisoned families.
However, the volunteers did their best to help as many families as possible until April 10, 2018. The State of Michigan informed Flint residents that all pods would be closing as soon as the water in stock and what was on order had been depleted. This announcement was made on April 6. This was an enormous shock to Flint. The PODS where flooded with terrified residents. Those that could not get to PODS were again failed by their City and State. Volunteers continued to deliver water until 6:20 April 10, 2018, when the last POD closed permanently.
Help the Volunteers Help the Elderly, Disabled and Homebound!
Sadly, with the sudden closing of the PODS, the volunteers were only able to get water to 21 families between Friday; day of the announcement, and Tuesday; the sudden last minute closing.
The citizen volunteers have helped many of the same families since 2015 and are now no longer able to. All assistance has been an out of pocket expense to each volunteer. Unfortunately, the volunteers cannot afford to purchase bottled water for their families leaving them unable to purchase water for those with the greatest need and most vulnerable.
The Flint Water Volunteers are looking for help to continue the work they began so long ago. Donations are needed to help them purchase water to provide to the elderly, disabled and homebound. We are seeking to raise $6000.00 to continue this vital work. All monies raised will ONLY go for the purchase of Water. The volunteers do not keep money for their gas or time. Receipts will be provided for every penny spent on this campaign. The volunteers have had several people approach them about wanting to provide money for gas in vehicles, the ONLY way that would ever happen is if a donation is strictly LABELED for gas. Any of that not needed would be spent on Water as well. Our only goal is to continue to help those we have been!!! Money is NOT being sought for any individual and as stated; all receipts will be provided with all money accounted for to the penny. This is work that has been done out of love for our neighbors and fellow man. We have worked so very hard and are at a loss of how to continue now that all resources are gone! Please know this campaign is actually transparent and by citizens that have themselves been harmed by the actions of The State of Michigan and the City of Flint.