Flint mother vows to carry on public safety fight despite switch back to Detroit water

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FLINT (WJRT) - (10/08/15) - A Flint mother was among the many who fought to get safe drinking water in the city. She said her son got lead poisoning from city water and she doesn't want other families to suffer.

LeAnne Walters claimed a victory on Thursday after hearing about the decision to return to the Detroit Water System. She said it was a testament to the everyday people who raised their voices and stood the course.

Walters' 4-year-old son, Gavin, loves to entertain. The last year has been filled with doctors appointments after his mom says tests confirmed he had lead poisoning.

"There haven't been any studies to tell us what the long term side affects are going to be," Walters said. "So it's a wait, watch and see, and that scares me."

Walters has no doubts about the Flint River putting her family in this predicament.

"It should have been taken seriously a long time ago," Walters said. "From all the fighting that we've done and all the testing that the citizens made happen, that's what got us to where we are right now. The citizens did this."

Walters, a member of the Coalition for Clean Water, was on the front line over the last year, protesting, attending meetings and reaching out to researchers at Virginia Tech. A team from the university traveled to Flint last month and shed light onto elevated lead levels in Flint's water.

"We weren't going to allow this to continue in our city, and my heart breaks for all the families that have to be tested now," Walters said. "That's the whole reason why I didn't shut up, because I didn't want other families to go through what my family's been going through."

Bottled water has been the go-to item in her house basically since the switch to the Flint River, despite the use of filters on the tap.

"My kids will now ask me, 'Is this good water or yucky water?'" Walters said.

She vows to still use her voice to bring about change.

"My personal mission in this now - is to change the way the state is testing for lead and copper, because they're testing with loopholes and that needs to change," Walters said.

Soon, the Walters family will be moving out of state for job reasons. However, Walters said her work to fix Flint's water issues won't stop and her end goal is to get laws changed in order to bring better protection to residents.

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