NewsFlint Water Crisis


State workers given water coolers last year

Posted at 10:48 PM, Jan 28, 2016
and last updated 2021-01-14 16:00:04-05

Liberal group Progressive Michigan obtained government emails showing state officials made changes to the drinking water of Flint state employees back in January of 2015.

Emails show a Flint state office building made arrangements for purified water coolers for workers as early as January 7th of last year.

State Representative Sheldon Neeley of Flint called the latest developments, "A debacle, mismanagement on all levels."

A notice by the state's Department of Technology, Management, and Budget talked about giving a water cooler to each floor, near a water fountain, so workers can choose. It went on to say it will continue as long as Flint water doesn't meet treatment requirements.

Neeley says this was going on as residents were told the water is safe.

It was not until the Fall of 2015, when residents officially were told not to drink the tap water.

A spokesman for DTMB says the choice was given when Flint failed drinking water standards, that were different from the lead issues we all know about now.

Caleb Buhs says no one was told the water was unsafe, adding the water coolers were just an alternative. The notice referenced elevated trihalomethanes (TTHM).

Within a few weeks of this notice, the state issued a $2 million grant to Flint to help with water system infrastructure improvements.