City Declares State of Emergency Over Lead Levels in Drinking Water

On Oct. 16, 2015, the city switched back to the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department as its source of water, but lead levels "remain well above the federal action level of 15 parts per billion in many homes," according to the city's announcement.

Karen Weaver, mayor of the city of Flint, Mich., on Dec. 15 declared a State of Emergency in response to what the city labeled "a man-made disaster caused by the City switching to the Flint River as a water source." Switching to the river as a source resulted in elevated lead levels in drinking water, which caused the city and the county health department to issue a health advisory earlier this year.

Weaver said this action was something she had promised to do while campaigning for mayor, adding that declaring the emergency will raise awareness of the issue that the water is not safe to drink and that it activates the city’s Emergency Support Plan to respond to the crisis.

On Oct. 16, 2015, the city switched back to the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department as its source of water, but lead levels "remain well above the federal action level of 15 parts per billion in many homes. Residents are advised to continue using water filters while long term solutions are being developed," according to the city's announcement.

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