Poisoning conjures up images of evil men sneaking away as unsuspecting victims clutch their throats and fall over dead at the dinner table. The reality of poisoning is much more sinister, and its potential sits on a larger scale than most municipalities and states are willing to acknowledge.
Lead, bacteria, copper, and other contaminants are drifting in the pipes of Flint, Michigan, and resting in the bodies of many of its residents. With the collapse of Detroit, Americans often think of Michigan as a state trying and failing to keep things together, when in fact it is just the unlucky city to fall first.
If industry and municipalities don’t start paying attention, other cities across the U.S. will follow suit with alarming similarity and regularity.
The American Society of Civil Engineers gives the nation’s drinking water, wastewater and dams a “D” rating, noting that they put us all at risk. Brown water, flammable gas, and illness have been reported in many different cities across the US. These issues should be prompting us to be proactive in assessing the implementation of appropriate water treatment solutions to handle both existing and new contaminants that we face in our water supply to protect our citizens.
An old infrastructure, a generally slow economic recovery, and water sources and supplies that shift due to pollution, demand, and weather changes are all creating health ramifications for other sectors to deal with.
Industrial partners need to lead the charge in presenting solutions, or we face being held accountable for decisions that may be beyond our control. It’s easy to determine what went wrong in Flint, but prevention requires us to get many things right, starting today with what’s being said about Flint, Michigan.