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Protesters in Flint march for clean water

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

Dozens of people braved the arctic cold to march through downtown Flint today. 

Chants of “What do we want? Good water. When do we want it? Now!” echoed through downtown Flint.  

The protesters alternated between waving homemade signs and hunching over to ward off icy winds which knocked the wind chill well below zero.      

Melissa Mays organized the march to protest the city’s drinking water.

“It’s not clean….It’s not healthy,” Mays told the marchers as they stood on a bridge overlooking the Flint River, “Let everybody know we want clean water.”

City officials insist Flint’s tap water is safe to drink, despite numerous issues during the past 12 months.  Since switching from Detroit’s water system to the Flint River, city residents have complained about their tap water’s appearance, taste and smell. There have also been problems with E-coli and a byproduct of the city’s efforts to treat the water. 

Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio
Michigan Radio
Robert Bowcock is the founder of Integrated Resource Management. He works with environmentalist Erin Brockovich.

An expert brought in by the protesters says the problems with Flint’s water are solvable.

Robert Bowcock is the founder of Integrated Resource Management.   He works with environmentalist Erin Brockovich.

He spent the past week in Flint examining the city’s water system.

Bowcock says the city can avoid future problems with its water if it made changes to the way it treats water from the Flint River.  

Many people at today's protest want the city of Flint to return to getting water from the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department. City officials say that is not an option for financial reasons.   

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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