While we’re all rubber-necking the Flint water-quality crisis, municipalities around the US are taking a closer look at their own aging infrastructures. Flint, Michigan, isn’t the only city turning up dangerous levels of impurities and contaminants: from Legionella in a Connecticut high school and at a Florida hospital, to E. coli at a Washington state elementary school and at Wellesley College in Massachusetts.
What we can’t see can hurt us, and public health agencies and their research labs are our best defense against further dangerous outbreaks. We saw this first-hand while outfitting the Water and Sewage Company of St. Lucia (WASCO) with their space-saving research-grade tabletop autoclave.
As Flint’s crisis settles into litigation and drops out of the headlines, the rest of the US will be looking toward our own public works. No one wants a repeat of Flint, and hopefully that will translate to new support (and better budgets) for public health agencies of all stripes.