Prosecutors: Flint’s Water Was Treated Through a ‘Hole in the Floor’

Workers that were gearing up to put Flint’s water treatment plant into operation used a “hole in the floor,” rather than an industry-standard pump, to dump chemicals into the Flint River’s water, prosecutors told a Michigan court in the criminal case against local officials. “We are putting it on the second floor in the mechanical room and feeding through a hole in the floor,” read the plant’s logbook entry, dated Sept. 16, 2013. The plant continued to run for well over a year despite bacteria and chlorine byproduct being detected in the water, and a rise in Legionnaires' disease outbreaks suspected to be caused by the water. In court, Special Prosecutor Todd Flood said that other chemicals used on the water supply were simply dumped through the same hole “because the city didn’t have equipment that’s typically used.” One county official testified that he was distressed by the inoperable and out of date equipment he saw, 17 months before Flint’s water was exposed as having dangerously high levels of lead.