Flint Water Crisis Overview
The water crisis in Flint, Michigan has been gaining more attention over the past few months, and on January 16th, President Obama declared a state of emergency for the City. Many people in Flint have been consuming tap water contaminated with high levels of lead, which is a powerful neurotoxin. Lead poisoning can produce lifelong health effects.
A state appointed emergency manager was put in place in 2011 to help the city save money, and one of the solutions was to find a cheaper water source. Flint had previously been purchasing Lake Huron water through Detroit. Plans were made to join a regional water system that would supply tap water from Lake Huron at a better price; however, that project was not going to be completed until 2016.
In April 2014, the City switched its water supply from Lake Huron to the local Flint River as a temporary water source for their cost saving measures. The Flint River contains water that is extremely corrosive, and the older water service lines in flint contained lead. As a result, the caustic water leached lead off the pipes. Because of Flint’s failure to properly analyze and treat the water with an anticorrosion agent the lead made it to household taps.
Lake Michigan Water and the City of Highwood
The City of Highwood’s water supply comes directly from Lake Michigan. Lake Michigan has excellent drinking water quality and is one of the world’s largest and cleanest sources of fresh water. The City of Highwood Water Treatment Utility is mandated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s Safe Drinking Water Act to protect the quality of drinking water. Further, the City of Highwood Water Utility is required by the State of Illinois EPA to conduct multiple water samples on a daily, monthly and annual basis to ensure that the water quality meets all drinking water standards.
The City of Highwood Water Utility strives to provide its consumers safe drinking water on a daily basis in accordance with all State and Federal drinking water standards. Annual drinking water quality reports are available by the City for consumer review. Visit www.cityofhighwood.org to view the most recent report.
Questions regarding this report can be directed to Jeff Harding, Director of Water Treatment at 847-432-3730.