http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/.../michigan-flint-water-contamination/78996052/The state downplayed and largely ignored the immediate complaints about the smell, color and taste of the water in 2014.
Previously, the city used Lake Huron water treated by the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department. The state Department of Environmental Quality has conceded it failed to require needed chemicals to be added to the corrosive Flint River water.
As a result, lead leached from pipes and fixtures into the drinking water.
I don't know how the city or state could let this go on for so long. The people of Flint will suffer long term effects of lead poisoning. You would think as soon as they realized what was taking place they would have warned people. Personally I think someone needs to go to jail over this.
Health Impacts of Lead Poisoning, A preliminary listing of the health effects & symptoms of lead poisoning