Flint: Five Years Later | Michigan Radio
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Flint: Five Years Later

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Former special prosecutor Todd Flood is off the team handling the Flint water crisis criminal investigation.

In 2016, Todd Flood was appointed by former Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette to oversee the criminal investigation into the Flint water crisis.   He was demoted earlier this year by new Attorney General Dana Nessel. Now he’s out altogether.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s governor says it’s going to take time to win back the trust of Flint residents, who were lied to during the city’s water crisis. 

Five years after the ill-fated switch of Flint’s drinking water source, the city’s residents remain wary of the water flowing from their taps and politicians who claim it’s safe to drink.

construction crew at hole in the road
Eric Schwartz

On April 25, 2014, the city of Flint switched its water source to the Flint River without properly treating it. That damaged thousands of lead and galvanized water pipes which the city is replacing. 

In 2016, University of Michigan researchers developed an algorithm to determine the neighborhoods most likely to have lead pipes. The on-again, off-again use of the model has raised concerns about the efficiency of the city's pipe replacement program.

The Flint River.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Five years ago today, Flint’s drinking water source was switched, setting the stage for the city’s water crisis.  

The Flint water treatment plant
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

It has been five years since Flint’s water supply was switched, and the Flint water crisis began.

Since then, fifteen officials involved with the incident have been charged. The investigation has been active since 2015.

City of Flint Water Plant
Adobe Stock

Five years ago, the city of Flint switched its water to the Flint River. Citizens soon complained of dirty, foul-smelling water. Doctors found evidence of high lead levels in children. Outside researchers proved the city’s water (because of a lack of corrosion control) was corroding pipes, bacteria levels skyrocketed, and thousands of people were without clean water.

That began five years ago. Now, many people still say that Flint, Michigan doesn’t have clean water.  

The problem is, those claims are misleading. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Several events are scheduled Thursday to look back at the beginning of the Flint water crisis. There’s also one looking forward.  

On April 25th, 2014, the city’s drinking water source was switched to the Flint River. But improperly treated river water damaged pipes, releasing lead into Flint’s drinking water.

picture of an old lead pipe.
Michigan History Center

 


On April 25th, 2014, officials switched Flint’s drinking water supply from the Detroit city system to the Flint River. Without proper corrosion control treatment, the river water corroded the city's pipes, leaching lead into the drinking water of thousands of Flint residents.

This Thursday will mark the fifth anniversary of that historic moment for Flint.