During a time of financial crisis, Michigan officials decided to save money by switching Flint’s water supply from Lake Huron (which Flint was paying the city of Detroit for) to the Flint River. The Flint River is infamous for its foulness. After the April 2014 switch, residents stated that their water looked, smelled and tasted weird.
Researchers from Virginia Tech found that the water was extremely corrosive. A class-action lawsuit alleges the state Department of Environmental Quality took no steps to treat the water for corrosion which is breaks federal law. Service lines going to Flint are made of lead. The corrosive water caused lead and iron to leach into the water system.
The city switched back to the Lake Huron water supply, but the harm was already done to the lead pipes. The National Guard and the State of Michigan is now handing out water filters and bottled water.