Flint Water Crisis Timeline
An unfortunate series of events
Nov. 29, 2011
Governor Rick Snyder appoints emergency manager for Flint after deficit of $25.7M reported. In the next 4 years Flint goes through 4 administrators.
March 25, 2013
City council votes to switch to Karegnondi Water Authority (KWA) to cut costs. KWA comes online in 2016. Flint must choose interim water source.
Apr. 25, 2014
Water supply switches from the Detroit system using Lake Huron to Flint River. No corrosion control treatment is used to prevent lead leaching from old pipes. Residents soon report rashes, illnesses and odd color, taste, and odor in the water.
Aug. 15, 2014
E-coli bacteria and coliform are detected in water. Flint issues a boil water advisory.
Sep. 20, 2015
E-coli bacteria and coliform found again in water. Boil water advisory is continued.
General Motors plant in Flint stops using city water after workers note it causing rust on newly machined parts.
Jan. 9, 2015
University of Michigan Flint detects elevated levels of lead in its water
Detroit’s water system offers to reconnect Flint and waive the $4-million fee. Flint’s emergency manager declines.
Feb. 18, 2015
Water at Flint home found to have 104 parts per billion (ppb) of lead. Environmental Protection Agency (E.P.A.) requires action at 15ppb.
Feb. 27, 2015
E.P.A. expert calls water testing “alarming” and says state’s testing method may “profoundly understate results.” Michigan Dept. of Environmental Quality (DEQ) claims Flint has an optimized corrosion control program.
Mar. 26, 2015
E.P.A. learns Genesee County Health Dept. investigating Legionnaires’ disease in Flint and questions if connected to the water. (The final total was 87 cases and 9 deaths.)
Aug. 17, 2015
DEQ tells Flint to optimize corrosion control.
Sep. 2, 2015
Expert on city water quality at Virginia Tech University reports corrosiveness of Flint River causing lead to leach out of old pipes and into water supply. DEQ disputes conclusions.
Sep. 24, 2015
Group of doctors at medical center in Flint urge city to stop using Flint River after finding high lead levels in children.
Sep. 25, 2015
Flint issues lead advisory, recommending using only cold tap water for drinking, cooking, and preparing baby formula.
Oct. 1, 2015
Epidemiologists confirm elevated lead levels in children. Residents told to stop drinking water and governor orders distribution of filters and increased testing.
Oct. 16, 2015
Flint reconnects to Detroit water, but residents still advised to use only filtered tap water for drinking, cooking, and bathing.
Dec. 14, 2015
Flint declares an emergency. Governor Snyder passes a local emergency declaration.
Jan 16, 2016
President Obama declares a state of emergency for the situation in Flint.