Week Five (7/1/19-7/5/19) – Detroit Community-Engaged Research Program

Week Five (7/1/19-7/5/19)


I was interested to find this article about a recently passed plan by the City of Detroit to spend half a billion dollars upgrading the water and sewage infrastructure.  The article mentions that a mass line replacement on this scale has not occurred in several decades at least.  This article intrigued me for several reasons.  First, the scale this operation will cover is immense.  I feel like at times many of us forget the huge infrastructure demands that are part of governing a city.  While water quality is certainly a popular topic in the news I think we sometimes under appreciate what goes into making sure a city the size of Detroit function.  Seeing the city put vast resources into the water infrastructure is promising and should help to improve quality of life for the citizens of Detroit.  Improving this city goes beyond what is visible on a street-by-street level.

This article further interested me because of my placement.  At Bridging Neighborhoods we test all of our house’s water for lead and at first they sometimes come back positive for lead.  This means we have to spend some of our funds to replace lines and meters in order to make the safest possible house for our residents.  The fact the some of the houses come back positive means there are likely houses throughout the city facing this issue—considering large portions of Detroit were built around the same time and with the same materials.  With this in mind the update program seems all the more necessary and overdue.  I just wonder how long Detroit residents have been unknowingly living with unsafe water supplies.

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