Inspiration

Union Plumbers Donate Time, Supplies to Flint Residents

Union Plumbers Donate Time, Supplies to Flint Residents

Terrence Tyler (R) replaces their old water filter as Mary Stewart looks at their residence in Shiloh Commons January 21, 2016 in Flint, Michigan.

Image credit: Sarah Rice | Getty

Sometimes, the search for a good plumber can be rough. But that wasn’t the case on Saturday for folks in Flint, Mich., which has struggled with poisoned tap water since 2014.

Three hundred members of Plumbing Manufacturers International (PMI) donated their time to install donated faucets and other plumbing fixtures, including Brita water filters, for residents whose homes are affected by the town’s ongoing water crisis.

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The crew consisted of plumbers from local unions across the country after PMI and the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry joined forces, according to an article from MLive.com.

"We appreciate the generosity of our members, the UA plumbers, IAPMO and everyone else that is helping to assure safe drinking water for the residents of the Flint area," Barbara C. Higgens, PMI CEO and executive director, said in a statement.

Issues regarding Flint’s water quality started in 2014 after a series of changes in local leadership and policy lead to a switch in its water supply. Soon after the change, E. coli was found and several boil water advisories were issued. Problems in water quality and government responses followed for about another year until tests revealed high levels of lead in the water and a number of children were diagnosed with lead poisoning. The news made national headlines as the city declared a state of emergency.

Still without a remedy for its water woes, government officials are blaming the city’s poor financial status after Flint Mayor Karen Weaver estimated it would cost $1.5 billion to replace the city’s pipes. Even if the town had the funds, the overhaul would take years to complete.

Without an easy fix, it was obvious the people of Flint needed some good news.

It’s not the first time Flint’s misfortunes made headlines. As an old manufacturing town, its economy’s struggled since one of it’s main employers, General Motors, shut down and downsized existing plants. It became -- and still is -- one of the poorest cities in the country.

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