Michigan is surrounded by the largest lakes in the world. Since Michigan is surrounded by these huge lakes, Michigan has more drinking water than anyplace in the world. It is ironic that anyone in Michigan could run out of fresh water but that is exactly what has happened in the city of Flint, Michigan. The city of Flint is located in eastern Michigan, it is only a few miles away from Detroit, which is Michigan's largest city. The city of Detroit's municipal water system is huge, it not only supplies more than three million people in Detroit and it's suburbs with water, it also supplied the city of Flint with water. At least, it supplied the city of Flint with water until a republican named Snyder became governor of Michigan.
As you know, Republicans are unpopular and the only way they can get votes in elections is by promising to cut taxes. When republicans cut taxes, vital programs are put into peril. Police departments and jails find their budgets being cut, which puts dangerous criminals out into the street, where they can commit more crimes. School budgets are cut, so education collapses. Governor Snyder found another way to save money, he decided that the water supply in Flint should be replaced with a cheaper system. Snyder's men decided that Flint should be disconnected from Detroit's water system, and the water for the city of Flint should be obtained from the Flint River.
Our water in Detroit comes from a lake, this is not unusual, since Michigan is surrounded by the world's largest lakes. Out lakes are nearly as big as oceans, and they have provided an abundant source of clean, fresh water for millions of people in Michigan, but Snyder wanted to isolate Flint from the lake water, and he wanted Flint to obtain their water from the muddy old Flint River. Although it seems impossible, the city of Flint was expected to ignore the fact that Michigan's lakes are the most abundant source of fresh water in the world, and obtain water from a muddy old river instead.
That's when the health problems started. The people in Flint noticed that when they turned on their faucets, their water came out brown. People started getting sick from drinking the water. Several people in the Flint area got Legionnaires disease, and the most likely cause was water contamination. At least one person with Legionnaires died. People in Flint started avoiding their tap water, and they started buying bottled water from stores. The quality of the water was so bad, people were afraid to bathe in it, because coming into contact with the tap water caused skin rashes and skin irritation. One woman in Flint said she was afraid to bathe her baby in tap water, so she was bathing it in bottled water! A huge charity effort was quickly organized, and people from all over the state of Michigan started to donate water to the residents of Flint. Thousands of cases of bottled water were given away to people in Flint.
The government officials who were responsible for Flint studied the problem, and they discovered that the water in Flint had high levels of lead. The lead was coming from lead pipes that are part of antiquated plumbing systems all over the city. Children who were tested by doctors were found to have high levels of lead in their bodies. It was recently proposed that the entire plumbing system in Flint should be replaced. Politicians are presently debating how they will come up with the money to replace all the pipes in the entire city of Flint.
I have an idea. I propose that all the empty plastic bottles in Flint should be collected and recycled. The plastic obtained by recycling all those plastic bottles should be used to manufacture pipes, and these pipes should be used to replace all the lead pipes in Flint's water system. The problem in Flint is not going to be solved soon, it may take months or years for it to be solved completely, and so we can assume that people in Flint will keep on drinking bottled water. So, what happens to all the empty plastic bottles? After someone in Flint drinks a bottle of water, what does he do with the empty bottle, does he just throw it away? Those empty water bottles should be recycled.
The millions and millions of empty water bottles in Flint should be collected, and they should be recycled, and the plastic obtained from the bottles should be used to manufacture pipes and other plumbing fixtures. These pipes, made of recycled plastic, should be used to build a completely new water infrastructure for the city of Flint. The city of Flint should become the first city in the world to have an all-plastic plumbing system. There is nothing new about plastic pipes for plumbing systems. Pipes made of PVC plastic have been used for years, in plumbing systems all over the country, they are approved by many building codes. If you want to establish a long-term solution to the water crisis in Flint, build an all-plastic plumbing system for Flint, and makes sure that the water for this system comes from the lakes, not from the Flint River. Recycled plastic pipe (made from empty water bottles) should cost less than new plastic pipe. Plastic recycling companies and plumbing-supply companies should study this idea.