Poisonous disaster: Tap water in Flint classified “undrinkable”

Crisis in Flint, Michigan is evident, although many are unaware of how or why crisis occurred. Over 21,000 homes have been recipients of aid in response to the undrinkable tap water, according to the Michigan government’s website.
The Department of Environmental Quality classified the water undrinkable due to detected levels of lead. This was supported by the discovery of high levels of lead found in children’s blood by one doctor’s confirmed investigations. Effects of lead can be illness and developmental problems in youth.

How did this happen?

CNN reported that the water source for Flint was temporarily switched
to the Flint River and, despite some indications of the corrosiveness of the water, it was still used and proceeded to corrode some of the lead pipes in older homes’ plumbing. This left many in the city of Flint and surrounding area with a poisoned water supply.

Not only did that mean water problems, but corroded pipes as well. With so many people unable to drink or wash with their tap water, Governor Rick Snyder of Flint declared a state of emergency for the county on Jan. 9, which was then echoed by President Barak Obama Jan. 16—the county was allowed up to $5 million in aid.

Olivet junior Jordan Loudermilk spoke on what the “loud voices” are saying in regards to the crisis as opposed to the “normal people.” “Yes, the water has some major problems with it but it is my opinion that the situation is being escalated and shown as a much larger problem because of politics,” Loudermilk said. He also acknowledged the problem, but added that old hoses are the ones most effected, not all.

In response to many loud political voices, on Tuesday, Jan. 19, Snyder spoke to the Michigan congress in his State of the State address. According to Michigan government’s website, his action plan spans from numerous short term to long-term solutions.

Sophomore Micah Foreshee lives within 15 miles of the crisis area. “Generally, [the situation is] still pretty awful,” he said. It’s a “complex, very expensive problem.”

Foreshee and Loudermilk both mentioned the extensive media coverage making the politics of the issue very complex and escalated. Forshee said that the demand of the governor’s resignation is a bit of an extreme reaction.


“It’s sad that the only thing bringing attention to the matter is someone seeing the chance to score some political points,” Loudermilk said.

With that in mind, there have been great movements to aid the citizens of Flint. One page on GoFundMe has achieved $30,936 of a new $40,000 goal in 10 days.

Responses have been great in number and loud in protest over this growing political debate. The mayor released over 250 emails regarding the issue becoming more transparent, but many still wish to see his position terminated. From here, funds will be used to address medical needs, install filters, and provide more bottled water.

After Chaplain Holcomb’s announcement in chapel Wednesday, students will hopefully hear more on how they can help soon.

Heather Halverson


  1. Disappointing that this article deflects responsibility from those in charge of the city and blames “the media.” Nice use of the passive voice: “water was switched” instead of “the emergency city manager, appointed by Governor Snyder, switched the water source as a cost saving measure that never really saved on costs.”

    Let’s hope the next story doesn’t deflect responsibility and is written in the active voice.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *