Plumbers Go Where They're Needed Most: Flint

'It just goes to show how giving American people are'
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 2, 2016 4:56 PM CST
Plumbers Go Where They're Needed Most: Flint
Plumbers Rob Johnson and Kevin Kinasz install a donated faucet in a Flint home on Saturday. More than 300 plumbers from Michigan and beyond spent the day installing faucets and filters in hundreds of homes.   (Jake May/The Flint via AP)

Unlike many state officials, Michigan's plumbers aren't going to sit idly by while Flint residents drink lead-contaminated water. Michigan Radio reports plumbers from Local 370 in Flint have been installing donated filters and faucets for residents. On Saturday, they were joined by more than 300 fellow plumbers from around the state and beyond, according to MLive. "We did not cause this American tragedy in Flint," Michigan Radio quotes Local 370 official Harold Harrington. "But we certainly can help correct the damage that has been done." Waves of plumbers from Plumbing Manufacturers International visited 1,100 homes in Flint on Saturday alone. There were so many plumbers' vans and trucks, in fact, that sheriff's deputies had to direct traffic.

"It just goes to show how giving American people are," one 70-year-old Flint resident told MLive after a visit from a PMI plumber. "People that don't even know us, have never heard of Flint before, are at our side. We're so very blessed that the American people have such big hearts." But the plumbers' generosity might be too late. "These efforts, at this point, I mean the damage is almost done," Michigan Radio quotes one resident who got a new faucet. She and her family only stopped drinking the tap water a few months ago. And some homes are getting so much lead in their water that filters might not work. The city switched to the Flint River as a water source to save money in 2014, Quartz reports. State authorities ignored residents' complaints about the water—which contained up to 260 times more lead than is considered safe—for months. (Pearl Jam gave $125,000 to help Flint residents.)

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