Residents of Flint, Michigan, received good news on Thursday. A U.S. District judge ordered the city and the state of Michigan to deliver bottled water to the doors of residents. Every home is entitled to four cases of bottled water per inhabitant per week unless officials verify a safe filter is present.
Community leaders praised the decision, which was based on a suit brought by the ACLU of Michigan, the Natural Resources Defense Council, Concerned Pastors for Social Action and a local resident. Now, Flint may be able to begin healing from the economic and health damage caused by years of unsafe water.
After news broke about lead contamination in the city, hundreds of thousands of donated bottles of water poured in. However, the city’s roughly 100,000 residents still don’t have a reliable source of clean drinking water, as their municipal system is not yet safe to use. The federal judge’s decision ensures that Flint residents won’t have to worry about where their next drink is coming from.
Not included in the judge’s order was how Michigan and Flint are to pay for the bottled water deliver, which is estimated to cost $9 million per month. Part of the difficult facing the region is the lack of funding for cleaning up the water supply. There’s no word yet on whether the state plans to appeal the decision.