Flint, Michigan, is not alone when it comes to problems with old water systems. Cities across the nation are faced with aging pipes and a lack of funding to fix them.
The water issue has gotten a lot of press lately because of the Flint lead contamination crisis. In an effort to save money, the city had stopped getting its water from Lake Huron and the Detroit water system, and began pumping it from the Flint River.
Unfortunately for many people who drank the water, the river water was not treated properly to prevent the leaching of lead from old pipes. As a result, thousands of children and adults were exposed to drinking water with high levels of lead. The city has switched back to the Lake Huron water and is currently working on a pipeline upgrade.
And Flint isn't the only city with old pipes. The Brookings Institute issued a new policy brief on the nation's aging water infrastructure. It estimates that more than $1 trillion in upgrades are needed across some 52,000 public water systems and 700,000 miles of pipes.
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