This will be a good laugh for beb, the water-system chemist: A Michigan Department of Environmental Quality official, days from retirement, gives a straight-talkin’ speech called “Flint: What Really Happened,” and claims it wasn’t the lack of water treatment that sent lead into the drinking water of thousands of low-income homes, but…pressure:
An “excessive” number of main breaks was one of several “confounding factors that you never hear anybody talk about,” argued Feighner, who said Flint had 312 main breaks in 2014 and 277 in 2015, but only 153 in 2013 and 138 in 2016.
Although cities across the Midwest experienced an elevated number of main breaks during the back-to-back unusually cold winters, Feighner argued that Flint was hit especially hard because it has an oversized water system for its population and had spent very little on water system upkeep during the previous 20 years.
The omission of phosphate corrosion inhibitor when the city switched to the Flint River as a water source in April 2014 is widely considered to be the critical mistake that caused lead service pipes to leach a neurotoxin into drinking water, thus leading to the crisis. But Feighner challenged that notion, arguing that phosphate would have had “some impact” on controlling corrosion, but “I don’t believe it would have prevented this event.”
He argued that raw Flint River water is not actually as corrosive a source as has been portrayed, but that in-system factors like the main breaks and fluctuations of plant operation as Flint workers grappled with early indications of water quality issues elevated the corrosivity in treated water, thus compounding a “complicated puzzle” of factors affecting the water in Flint’s system.
I’m no expert, but I believe this is…not true. He claims that, essentially, main breaks, but changing pressure and water direction basically blasted protective coating from the inside of water mains. It wasn’t the obvious reason — that the river was more corrosive (most Midwestern rivers are, especially if they take on agricultural runoff), and by not treating the water with anticorrosives, it allowed the water to eat away at the protective coating that years of anticorrosives had left on city water mains and service lines.
(Are you bored by this? I don’t blame you. As the Trump family has pushed us to pay attention to politics 24/7/365, so Flint made water-treatment experts of every informed resident of Michigan. We had our own water tested, after discovering our service line was lead. Good news: undetectable lead levels, so thanks, Detroit system chemists.)
Having now spoken this heresy, which is contrary to the opinion of every expert, he goes on to pull the all-purpose excuse: Blame the media.
“Certainly, there was hurt there — don’t get me wrong — but there was a tremendous amount of hype that hurt them even more than the actual event. I’m convinced of that.”
Hoo-boy. Well, then. Maybe just hop to the next bit of bloggage, OK?
The best single story about the Alex Jones business, and an entertaining read, too:
The cross-examination begins. The jury is shown a video Jones filmed in D.C. on the eve of the Trump inauguration. He’s in front of the Capitol, and he’s drunk, slurring his words and wobbling. He’s about to go to the Deploraball. “I’m gonna sneak off and piss on some tree or something,” he says. But first, he mumbles to the camera “the age of fake bullshit is over. The return of man is here. Get ready because we’re gonna run your ass over.” Offscreen, a man yells “1776.” Jones slurs: “1776, baby!”
What a world we live in. And it’s only Tuesday.