Bridge Over Lead Water: The Crisis That Connects Us


The Flint Water Plant tower is seen, Friday, Feb. 26, 2016 in Flint, Mich. Flint is under a public health emergency after its drinking water became tainted when the city switched from the Detroit system and began drawing from the Flint River in April 2014 to save money. The city was under state management at the time. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

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To mark National Lead Poisoning Week, WGN Radio’s Dometi Pongo explores what our city can learn from the lead water crisis in Flint, Michigan.

To order a lead testing kit in the City of Chicago, call 311. For more information, visit

Full interviews:

Karen Weaver became the Mayor of Flint, Michigan in 2015 following fallout from the Flint Water Crisis. She joins us to talk about how the city is progressing since the issue first came to a head.

John Beacham is with Answer Chicago, the activist group behind When City Hall used procedural rules to avoid hosting public forums on the issue, his organization began holding them independently and circulating a petition asking for the city to replace all lead service lines.

In this conversation, 32nd Alderman Scott Waguespack talks about how a handful of city council members are exploring solutions to Chicago’s lead water problem. He also discusses its origins.

Attempts at securing an on-the-record interview with leaders from the Chicago Department of Water Management were unsuccessful.

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