Freshwater Future Weekly: March 20, 2020 COVID-19 Update

Posted on March 22, 2020 by

March 20, 2020

Water Issues During COVID-19

Dear Community Partners,

During this unprecedented crisis, Freshwater Future’s main priorities are to ensure the safety of our Great Lakes communities and partners and to help sustain public health and well-being. All of us and our families will be dealing with different levels of social, economic and health impacts from the precautions we need to take to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. Know that Freshwater Future is here to help you in any way with support, information, outreach, and contacting public officials.

Freshwater Future has been working diligently to ensure that water service is restored to those where it has been turned off and that safety issues continue to be at the forefront, such as availability of filters for lead and PFAS.  We will continue to move these critical water needs forward throughout the crisis and know that you will continue your important work as well. Please let us know your needs and questions by contacting Alicia Smith, or 231-348-8200.

We are in this together, and together, we will overcome this crisis and rise.

Jill M. Ryan, Executive Director, and Freshwater Future Team

Returning Water To Waterless Homes Important: Flushing Required

Between 2014 and 2018, water was shutoff to over 100,000 customers in Detroit alone.  People all over the Great Lakes region do not have running water. Because of the importance of hand-washing to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus, many cities are turning the water back on for residents.  In support with our community partners, Freshwater Future is asking Governors and Directors of Health and Human Service Departments to turn water on for all residents.

Here is an update and how you can help:

Michigan–The city of Detroit is turning water back-on for residents, very slowly, with only 400 of more than 3,500 homes having received service. Other cities have halted future water shutoffs, but have yet to restore water to residents currently without water in their homes.  Click here to ask Governor Whitmer and Robert Gordon to turn water on for all-now!

Ohio–Freshwater Future staff have been working to get water access returned for residents all over Ohio.  Columbus, Toledo, and several other cities have restored water access (learn more about our work here).

Wisconsin–After Governor Tony Evers declared a state of public health emergency to enhance response to the COVID-19, the Wisconsin Public Service Commission directed utilities– water, electric, and natural gas to stop disconnecting services. Utilities must also reconnect service for occupied dwellings.

If you need support with getting water turned on in your community, please contact Kristy Meyer, or 231-348-8200 ext. 7.

Water Back-On, Don’t Forget to Flush

After water is restored to a house, all water lines require flushing to remove stagnant water and potential pollutants.  If you have a family member, friend, or you face this issue, learn how to properly flush your water now.

Dr. Mona says 80% of Flint kids tested need special services

Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, the pediatrician that helped reveal the Flint Water Crisis, stated in a “60 Minutes” interview that 80% of Flint kids will need additional educational services as a result of lead exposure.  Prior to the crisis, approximately 15% of Flint kids required additional services.  Dr. Hana-Attisha and her colleagues are studying lead in baby teeth to learn more about the correlation between learning problems and exposure to lead.

Freshwater Future, Calling All Smiles On Deck!

There are times like this when everything seems wrong and letting yourself fall seems like the only thing you can do. Until a helping hand reaches down to pull you back up, greeting you with a smile from ear to ear. Reminding you that this journey for clean and safe drinking water does not have to be endured alone. Freshwater Future works tirelessly with community members all around the Great Lakes to ensure that when times are tough they’ve got teammates to lean on. Coronavirus has arrived with a presence spreading into all levels of social, economic, and health areas. This too shall pass and we shall overcome it. Enchanted with brighter days awaiting us at the end of the tunnel. Fight on! We’re right there with you.


© 2021 Freshwater Future. All Rights Reserved.

Images courtesy of Steven Huyser-Honig,
West Grand Boulevard Collaborative, & Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve.