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Water

OVERALL RATING

Nine hundred residents shared their views through telephone and online opinion surveys conducted in the first half of 2019. Key findings are summarized, including ratings for different aspects of life in Flint. Ratings are based on a scale of one to five, in which five means “very positive” and one means “very negative.” For more information about how the ratings were calculated, see Methodology.

THINGS TO CELEBRATE/
THINGS TO IMPROVE

This section highlights survey results regarding what’s working and what needs improvement. If a section of Focus on Flint does not include information about Things to Celebrate or Things to Improve, it’s because the survey didn’t yield responses to fit the categories.

ALSO HEARD

In addition to results of the opinion survey, Focus on Flint shares information that local nonprofit organizations and agencies have reported hearing from the residents they serve.

SUPPORT FROM MOTT

Support for the organizations and programs presented in bold text includes funding from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, which produced this report. To learn more, visit the Foundation’s website, Mott.org.

FACTS & FIGURES

Each section includes data and statistics that illuminate strengths of the Flint community and highlight challenges. These facts were collected through opinion surveys of Flint residents; from city, state and federal agencies; and from local nonprofit organizations. The Flint surveys were conducted in the first half of 2019. Unless otherwise noted, all remaining data are from 2018.

DID YOU KNOW?

This section highlights organizations and programs working to address issues in the Flint community and provides information about how to connect with them.

THE ISSUE AND THE RESPONSE

Focus on Flint explores nine important issues facing the local community: Arts and Culture, Economy, Education, Health, Housing, Public Safety, Quality of Life, Standard of Living and Water. This section describes why each issue is critical to the community and summarizes work underway.

Workers replace water service lines in Flint.

PHOTO: JIM WEST/ALAMY LIVE NEWS

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OVERALL RATING

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

THINGS TO CELEBRATE

  • Residents’ trust and confidence in the pediatrician and researchers whose work proved that there was a crisis
  • Efforts to inform residents about available health and family services

THINGS TO IMPROVE

  • Cost of water service
  • Progress on pipe replacement
  • Proper use of water filters

ALSO HEARD

  • It will take longer to rebuild residents’ trust in government officials than it will to replace the pipes.
  • The crisis raised national awareness of concerns regarding water quality, aging infrastructure and cost.

THE ISSUE

Five years after Flint’s water crisis began, the community continues to deal with fallout. Among the most pressing concerns are water quality and affordability, and the long-term health and well-being of all residents — particularly children. Since 2016, studies by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality have shown that a growing majority of water samples in Flint have lead levels of less than 15 parts per billion, which is the federal action level. However, few residents say they trust government officials or believe the water is safe. Today, most residents still drink only bottled water.

THE RESPONSE

News of the water crisis sparked an outpouring of support from people and organizations in Flint and around the world. The Mott Foundation granted $4 million to help reconnect the city to the Detroit water system and subsequently committed up to $100 million over five years to help Flint recover and rise. Help Centers have been providing residents with bottled water, water filters and healthy foods that can help combat the effects of lead exposure. The launch of Cummings Great Expectations and Educare Flint has made high-quality early childhood education available to more of the city’s youngest residents and their families. All schools that feature the Flint Community Education Initiative now have a community health worker to help connect students and their families with needed services. The City of Flint is overseeing the replacement of lead and galvanized metal service lines, and officials say they will complete the work ahead of schedule and before the end of 2019. City officials and community leaders also are exploring ways to make water rates more affordable. Freshwater Future is establishing a local lab and training young people in the community to collect and test water samples. The hope is that testing conducted by Flint residents for Flint residents will inspire greater trust.

 

 

DID YOU KNOW?

The Flint Registry provides health and wellness information and referrals to anyone who may have been exposed to lead in the city’s water while living, working, or attending school or day care in a location served by the Flint water system between April 25, 2014, and October 15, 2015. Developed with the community’s help, the Flint Registry will offer residents, health care providers and others a better understanding of the crisis and its impacts. Enrollment is confidential, and no information is shared without the participant’s consent.

CONTACT: www.flintregistry.org or 833-GO-FLINT

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