Water treated for dangerous bacteria. Check.
Water tested for heavy metals. Check.
Water tested for Legionella. Check.
Water source changed leading to numerous deaths, hospitalization and public crisis. Checkmate.
The infamous case of water contamination that happened in Flint, Michigan serves as a cautionary tale for property managers, building inspectors and all of us who use tap water.
What’s different about the Flint case is that one could have performed water tests for Legionella and found no issue, but within the next few weeks, everything would have changed.
That’s because in 2014, the city switched its water supply to river water, which proved to be more corrosive and leached lead into the water – high rates of Legionella also popped up. A class action lawsuit joined by 25,000 people has the State of Michigan’s governor in hot water. People are seeking compensation for the governor’s having allegedly withheld information about a Legionella outbreak for about two weeks, until finally letting the public know about the Legionella contamination on January 16, 2016.
Moral of the story: Know where your water comes from.
And ask the following questions – Are there any proposed changes to your water source? What are your pipes made from? How often are you getting your water tested to make sure people are protected, if things do change?