To show that the tainted water in Flint, Mich., is safe when filtered, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder says he will be drinking it for the next month when he’s at home and at work.
During a visit to Flint on Monday, Snyder said he visited a family’s home and drank filtered tap water, according to the Detroit Free Press.
“To help support this effort — people are asking about me drinking the water — I filled up a bunch of gallon jugs, so I’m going to drink filtered Flint water from this wonderful home I visited,” he told reporters in a videotaped exchange. “I’m going to start drinking that tonight and do it for the next 30 days when I’m at work and at home.”
The governor’s announcement follows researchers’ findings that the water recovery process is lagging because Flint residents are hesitant to use the water because of unsafe lead levels. The Two-Way reported earlier this month that “the water additives that would ‘re-scale’ corroded pipes in the water system, thereby preventing lead from leaching into the water, are not reaching the pipes because people in Flint don’t want to pay for contaminated water that they can’t use.”
And as the post notes, Virginia Tech researcher Marc Edwards explained:
” ‘What we discovered was that many Flint residents are, not surprisingly, not using very much water,’ Edwards said during a videotaped press conference to present the results of the water-quality tests he and his team conducted in March.
” ‘The delivery of the cure, which is this clean water that needs to flow through the system, in some Flint homes, is simply not happening,’ he said.”
Last week, when Snyder encouraged Flint residents to use more filtered tap water instead of bottled water, he “was told by a state official that Flint residents wanted him to start drinking the tap water first,” the Free Press reports.
“I completely understand why some Flint residents are hesitant to drink the water, and I am hopeful I can alleviate some of the skepticism and mistrust by putting words to action,” Snyder said, according to the newspaper. “Flint residents made it clear that they would like to see me personally drink the water, so today I am fulfilling that request. And I will continue drinking Flint water at work and at home for at least 30 days.”
The Flint water crisis dates back to when the city switched its water source from Lake Huron to the Flint River in 2014.
On Morning Edition, Michigan Radio’s Rick Pluta explained the water contamination problem:
“A state-appointed manager was in charge when the decision was made that Flint was going to stop using water from the city of Detroit system, where it was buying it and it was considered too expensive, and start drawing water from the Flint River at least on an interim basis. And it turned out that the water was very corrosive, so corrosive in fact that General Motors had a car plant nearby and wouldn’t use it.
“And what that did was it caused lead in some water pipes leading into homes to leach into the water. And now we have a lot of kids in Flint who have elevated lead levels, and the fear is all the attendant health problems that go along with it.”