Flint, Michigan. In the United States your health is the least of the state’s concern, as thousands of residents in the city with poisoned water are now told that the same government that poisoned them with bad water, will now take their homes for refusing to pay the government for the poisoned water.
Over 8,000 people in Flint, Michigan have been told they could lose both their water supply and even their homes, if they continue to refuse to pay bills for polluted water provided by the government.
Flint citizens have been sent water shutoff notices and threats that the city will take financial possession of their homes until they pay their water bills or forever if they cannot make payments on looming deadlines.
The government says the threat of taking financial control of property, known as a tax lien, is necessary because it is not bringing in enough money from its water utility. But that very same government, which serves one of the nation’s poorest cities, is still pumping poisoned water through the tap after receiving national and even UN scrutiny for having dangerously high levels of lead in their drinking water.
Flint City officials say that they have no choice but to take the strong measures. The state of Michigan stopped subsidising Flint’s water in March after the state Department of Environmental Quality found Flint’s lead levels tested within federal limits, meaning one government told another government the water was maybe “safe” to drink.
“We have to have revenue coming in, so we can’t give people revenue, I mean excuse me, give people water at the tap and not get revenue coming in to pay those bills,” Al Mooney, a representative with the city’s Treasury Department.
Flint made American national headlines in 2015 after testing showed elevated levels of lead in the city’s drinking water. The water had seen a spike in lead levels after staff in charge of switching the city’s water supply from the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department to a different provider to save money failed to follow proper anti-corrosion protocol and ended up poisoning residents for months.