City of Flint Mayor Karen Weaver Thursday, along with state and federal officials, rolled out a new campaign to encourage Flint residents to flush the water in their homes for a total of 10 minutes a day to remove lead particles as well as coat the pipes to protect their homes.
Michigan Governor Rick Snyder also announced, according to both the Governor’s office and the City of Flint, that the state will pay for water used by Flint residents during the month of May to encourage them to participate in the flushing effort to help improve the water quality.
Estimates peg the cost of the program at $1.7 million.
“Running the water in your bathtub for five minutes and then doing the same at your kitchen sink after turning off the filter should help reduce lead levels in our water,” Mayor Weaver said. “While the only long-term solution is to remove every lead and galvanized steel pipe leading to Flint homes, flushing the pipes is an important intermediate step.”
A 30-second television ad and a 60-second radio ad will begin airing Friday on Flint stations. We’ve embedded the TV ad above. Both urge Flint residents to “Take a Turn” to improve the city’s lead-tainted pipes by running their bathtub and kitchen faucets every day for two weeks. The ads were produced by Brogan & Partners, based in Birmingham, Mich.
According to Kathleen Falk, regional director of Region V for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 15,000 more Flint residents are now eligible to sign up for Medicaid coverage being paid for by the state and federal governments.
Coverage became available this week to children up to age 21 and pregnant women who were served by the Flint water system since April 2014, and who have income levels up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level. The coverage is retroactive to March 1.
In addition, according to a release, up to 30,000 Flint residents currently covered by Medicaid are eligible for additional services.
“Flint residents continue to suffer because of decisions imposed on them by mistakes from outsiders, under the oversight of the state and federal governments,” said Mayor Weaver in a statement. “While we’re pleased to announce these additional measures today, we still need state and federal funds to address health issues, economic issues, and to replace all the lead-tainted pipes in the city.”