Water Filter Give Away Left Thousands Of Milwaukee Residents With Toxic Lead Laterals Empty Handed

The first batch of free water filters were distributed in the Southside, which left thousands of local residents empty handed to prevent toxic fresh water lateral poisoning.

By H. Nelson Goodson
Hispanic News Network U.S.A.

November 30, 2016

Milwaukee, WI – On Tuesday, the W.I.C. office at the Sixteen Street Community Health Center at the 1300 block of S. César E. Chavez Drive drew huge lines of local Southside residents trying to get a free water filter to prevent toxic lead lateral poisoning. According to a posting at the Southside W.I.C. office location, the water filters were being distributed at two Southside locations. On Tuesday, the filters were distributed at the W.I.C. office location on S. Chavez Drive for Southside residents and on Wednesday, the filters will be distributed at the Kosciusko Community Center at Kozy (Kosciusko) Park for Northside residents.
The only problem with the water filters is that they don’t 100% stop any lead poisoning in fresh water and the other issue, the Freshwater for Life Action Coalition (FLAC) confirmed that no notice was placed or circulated in the Northside where most of the Afro-American community resides to let them know that they would have to travel to the Southside to get their filters on a first come, first serve basis.
Robert Miranda, a FLAC member stated, “Many poor people with transportation issues in the Northside will find it hard to get to Kozy.”
More than 70,000 homes still remain with toxic lead laterals connected to the City of Milwaukee fresh water main. FLAC and state public officials want for the City of Milwaukee to replace all the lead laterals, but Mayor Tom Barrett has yet to commit resources to get rid of all the toxic lead laterals.
According to Miranda, FLAC wants for the city to pay for the removal of all the toxic lead laterals, since the city government created the problem by approving installation of such laterals in prior years. City officials have known for decades that lead particles have been found in the drinking water and have kept quiet and stalled any action to remove lead laterals for years.
The water filters won’t prevent lead poisoning and FLAC considers that Mayor Barrett has refused to consider any reasonable plan to get funding for the immediate removal of all lead laterals within city limits.

Milwaukee surrounding suburbs with toxic lead laterals (Source: WISN):

• 90% of the homes in Shorewood

• 32% of homes in South Milwaukee

• 30% of homes in Cudahy

• 38% of homes (19K) in West Allis

• 65% of homes (15K) in Wauwatosa

Update: Milwaukee, WI – On Wednesday, hundreds of people from the Southside area showed up at the Kosciusko (Kozy) Community Center on S. 7th St. to get their free water filters that practically are worthless in preventing city victims from getting lead poisoning from drinking and cooking with fresh water flow from toxic lead laterals connected to the city’s water main.
A Milwaukee County worker who said, that he was a supervisor at the Kozy Community Center attempted to censor media outlets from video news recording of those residents seeking a free filter. According to him, media would have to get permission to only video news record the legs and feet of those residents in line to get a water filter. (Source: HNNUSA/Hispanic News Network U.S.A.)
Video of incident: http://goo.gl/E8CUAt

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