Speed Reads

flint water crisis

Erin Brockovich explains the Flint water crisis to Stephen Colbert, warns it's 'the tip of the iceberg'

Residents of Flint, Michigan, called in environmental activist Erin Brockovich to examine their contaminated drinking water a year ago, she told Stephen Colbert on Thursday's Late Show. She explained that the real problem with the Flint River water is that it leached the lead and other conaminants out of Flint's water delivery pipes. Colbert, after showing some disgusting photos of Flint water, said that reports are coming in of contaminated municipal water from other cities, too. "Is this just the tip of the leadberg out there for what we're drinking?" he asked.

"I can tell you that Flint, Michigan, is the tip of the iceberg," Brockovich said. "I can tell you for certain that this is a national crisis that we're not getting ready to face — the crisis is already here." Lots of cities, to save money, are treating their water with a corrosive substance that leaches out lead, iron, manganese, and copper from antiquated infrastructure. The problem is "affecting many municipalities across the United States," she warned, listing some in Wisconsin, Louisiana, and Ohio. Watch below. Peter Weber