Dr. Edwards warns Flint water still not safe, talks about similar water crisis in D.C.
For researchers, who have been at the forefront, they say history is repeating itself in Flint.
It was a decade ago when Washington D.C. saw high lead levels in their drinking water. Now, activists in Flint are hoping they can learn from that, and have a different outcome in the Vehicle City.
Dr. Marc Edwards is the Virginia Tech professor who is hailed as a hero by many in Flint. He made a stop in the city to speak to the people of Flint Wednesday.
"Doing the right thing isn't always rewarded," said Edwards.
It was Edwards, a team of Virginia Tech researchers, local pediatrician Dr. Hanna Attisha, and other local activists who came together advocating for change. It was only after that the city, state and EPA admitted Flint's drinking water was not safe.
"We got kids out of harm's way in spite of the EPA and MDEQ, not because of them," said Edwards.
This story is like déjà vu for Edwards because a decade ago a very similar water crisis happened in Washington D.C. There he says the people who spoke up lost their jobs, and the class action lawsuit was thrown out.
"Based on what I saw in Washington D.C. if the Michigan court system is anything like that you got a long hard road ahead of you," said Edwards.
Dr. Edwards applauds everyone in Flint who stepped up and said something, but now those activists are just hoping the future in Flint will look different.
Dr. Hanna Attisha of Hurley Medical Center is the one who released data that convinced the state and the city to switch back to Detroit as the city's water source.
"It's unfortunate in D.C. that nothing happened. I think we're going to have a different ending. I'm hopeful we are and I'm not going to stop fighting for these kids," said Dr. Hanna Attisha, Hurley Medical Center.
Just a few weeks ago in Flint a class action suit was filed. The city's new mayor, Dr. Karen Weaver has said her plan is to provide services to help those suffering from lead poisoning.
In the meantime, Dr. Edwards warns the water is still not safe yet.
"People in Flint should be using the filters 100 percent probably for the next six months," said Edwards.
Even with the switch back to Detroit, Edwards says his testing shows lead is still getting into the drinking water.
A spokesperson for the City of Flint says testing is being done regularly, but right now the health advisory is still in place and the city is still handing out free water filters.
When asked about a timeline on when the water would be considered safe again, the city says they can't provide that right now, but are working on implementing more corrosion control measures.