Think Progress this week ran a story titled, “300 Union Plumbers Spent The Weekend Installing Water Filters For Flint Residents For Free” This is a terrible story. First, the free water filters being installed are useless and aren’t working according to tests and residents. The levels of lead emanating from pipes Governor Rick Snyder refused to repair or replace is far too high to be handled by the filters. Republican math once again will devastate taxpayers. Fixing the pipes would have cost about $5 million. Estimates for the clean up now are running as high as $400 million, another reason wealthy people like Snyder bought their way into office, to keep their taxes low and shoulder it on working people when all of these bills finally come due.
And you thought it was bout keeping what they rightfully earned. Bless your heart.
Incidentally, water coolers, it was reported had been installed a year for state workers, even as they were telling residents the water was safe. But here is the real kick in the lead poisoning; Aquasana, the Texas-based company, whose filters are being sold “at a special price for Flint residents” was the subject of a report at http://www.ripoffreport.com, titled “Aquasana Sun Water Systems, Inc. Aquasana Whole House Filters – Made to Leak Promptly Upon Expiration of Warranty.” The report goes on to detail how this may be an apparent scheme to upsell replacement parts at a later date, something likely to be shouldered fully by the residents. this apparent shell game by Snyder simply kicks the can down the road to a time and place when hopefully no one will be paying attention.
Aquasana’s web page came up instantly on top of a web search from “Flint Water Filters,” in apparently a classic search engine optimization effort by the company. Just below the web address the tag line reads, “Aquasana NSF Certified Lead Removal Special pricing for Flint, Michigan. Enjoy refreshing, crisp, and clean water straight from your faucet.” How convenient and magnanimous.
The Michigan.gov page regarding the Flint crisis is an advertisement for water filters, highlighting Brita and PUR filters and a plastic bucket with a filter that residents, presumably in log cabins, pour water into, might as well be linked to Amazon. The site reminds residents that “If you are in the majority of Flint households that have lead levels below 15 ppb, you should continue to use a filter until the emergency declaration is lifted.” But even here they are undermining, and indeed, outright lying to residents, as the scope and number of homes affected continues to rise exponentially.
It isn’t about water filters. It isn’t about an army of well meaning plumbers or citizens or do gooders descending with band aids to a crisis. we have become serfs to venture capitalist 1%ers like Rick Snyder. That’s the sort of reactionary smoke screen the Right and Snyder wants. And the sort of society that simply reacts to a long growing crisis with spit and tape is more akin to the broken nations I visited in southern and eastern Europe in the early 1990s, not America. We’ve suddenly gone from forward thinkers, anticipating and correcting issues before they arise to Somalia with shopping malls.
It isn’t the pipes in people’s homes, it is the municipal pipes he refused to repair or replace. This WAS and IS a government issue that government should fix, not with bolstering the short term profits of water filter companies in their fictitious and abusively levied fantasy that everything is a market solution. People, their health and their children are not markets. Isn’t that what the media that covers and protects and spins for people like Snyder tells us about freedom and the constitution and every life is god’s little flower? Well, Flint shows us, some flowers get watered with pure fresh water and some, 99% of them, get bilge water.