Screen Shot 2016-02-18 at 2.28.54 PMAccording to the Food & Water Watch Group, a non-profit advocacy organization, the residents of Flint, Michigan had the most expensive water of the 500 community water systems in the country in 2015. Flint residents paid an average of $864.32 over the course of a year for toxic, lead-filled water. The amount was almost three times the national average of $316.20. The advocacy group’s findings came as no surprise to the residents of Flint, who saw their water bills rise monthly firsthand.

“I didn’t need a study to tell me I was paying the highest bills,” said Flint resident Valdemar L. Washington. “All I had to do was look at my water bills. Even in Phoenix, where there’s a desert, they don’t pay as much as we do out here,” he added. And we’re surrounded by the Great Lakes. What’s going on?”

“It’s completely insane for people to be paying so much who are getting frankly so little,” said Ben Jealous, former president and CEO of the NAACP.

Flint officials have declined to comment on the group’s findings.

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  • Mahogany

    So they overcharged the residents for dirty water. Well…

  • It is a total injustice and a disgrace that the residents of Flint, Michigan has to pay such an exorbitant amount of money for poisoned water. The residents of Flint are not only the victims of a poisoned water supply. The folks involved in the tragedy have used a cover up (in dismissing the courageous actions of whistle blowers like professor Marc Edwards of Virginia Tech, who was one of the first to expose lead in the water of Flint, and Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha) in order to cover up their tracks. This blatant injustice once against proves that unregulated capitalism is not only evil, but it has ruined the lives of so many people (including black and poor people. Most of the residents of Flint, Michigan are black people). Austerity doesn’t work either. People who are involved in this evil are among many levels of government not just the state government. The anti-democratic emergency manager system has overtly violated the human rights of the people of Flint and people from areas all across Michigan. Infrastructure must be rebuilt and pipes must be replaced. Billions of dollars are spent for warfare overseas, yet some people refuse to spend even millions of dollars to help the citizens of Flint. Flint has been a victim of deindustralization, rate hikes, and high foreclosures.

    The water crisis started in part, because some people wanted to cut corners and fund the bailout of bankers in Michigan at the expense of the water safety of people. The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD), used revenue from water bills to pay budget shortfalls. Studies have documented that water privatization in many places of America has harmed quality, efficiency, and other processes of delivering water to human beings. High lead levels exist in cities throughout America as well. E-mails show Michigan state officials knew of Legionnaires’ outbreak in Flint in early 2015. The decision to stay on Flint River water was made by Emergency Manager Jerry Ambrose. In March of 2015, after nearly a year of public complaints about the water quality Ambrose overruled a Flint City Council vote to return to Detroit water system. Ambrose flatly refused the Council’s request. Governor Synder, Darnell Earley, and others must be held accountable for their actions. We abhor class oppression. The more facts that come out about this crisis, the more outrage people legitimately are expressing. The Emergency Manager Law must be repealed outright. Anyone involved in the poisoning and the cover up must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law (and sent into prison after due process). We want justice and we desire just treatment given to the human beings of Flint, Michigan.

  • This is a prime example of how it’s expensive to be poor!

    • Mary Burrell

      That sounds like a quote from James Baldwin.

    • Great Point.

  • Of course they paid more. The paid more for a slow death. Smh