5 years after the Flint water crisis began, other communities face similar hardships

New research shows that dozens of cities across the country may suffer from lead contamination in their water supply.
9:00 | 07/30/19

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Transcript for 5 years after the Flint water crisis began, other communities face similar hardships
Detroit ahead of this. Seconds democratic presidential primary debate coming up just a few hours from now here in Detroit is the candidates. Converge on this city a lot of them making a stop seventy miles from here. In Flint gives you is just five years ago that the city became a symbol and this country. And environmental protection failures in the crumbling infrastructure in so many different parts of this country we recently went back to plant to see how that community is very now we found. They do community deeply distrustful of government. It's still not drinking the water. Our water source was switched as a way to save money. And so we went from lake here on which we gap through a pipe from Detroit. To going to the Flint river in corrosion control wasn't put in place we have an aging infrastructure here in the city of fun like every place else almost throughout this country lit seeped into the water system. That was what happened as a result of not having corrosion control even though the state has told us we could start drinking water now because of the test results. I'm saying now I'm not signing off on it yet. I would say the quality of my water matches or exceeds most of the water in the state in this from the country. When it happens to it once it gets to the home this is kind of out of our control. I can tell you the water coming out of plant meets all the requirements what do you trust. That it becomes a matter of personal preference at a certain point. Still pulling out live pipe should have that potential for Lynn to Leach into the water system. And so we want to err on the side of caution and if it takes longer and we have to stay on bottled or filtered water accurate they do grant because I think people will feel more comfortable. When they know we looked at every single pipe and the city a fluent. The bad news. I. Yeah water. I have. I'm sitting here waiting. Water get out starts at 10 o'clock middle asked me about ten days maybe if that is NFC they're thinking about wasting them. Com. But OK I think they're getting ready to start start the water and start moving McCartney more than partly Beckham and so they can get ready and everything. I didn't but it just aren't open door according to. Thank you. That you don't. Buy it let them come right here don't and. Still other leads. Oh my should be giving. Good work 1 morning proof of the laws immediately. From 2016 to 2018. Initially about 56%. Of people had fear of using un filtered water for drinking or cooking. And that's slightly down to about 50% now adding to remnants of this press will be here for years. For decades. It will cross generations. And really because we don't know what that intergenerational impact we'll. Credible here those voices five years later thanks to Janet Weinstein and Stephanie ads here at ABC news for bringing us that story want to bring in now by doctor Mona high. A tee shot pediatrician public health advocate who helped uncovered the Flint water crisis five years ago she exposed to high lead content. And so many children that were living there also Anthony Diaz joins us. From Newark, New Jersey he's the co-founder of the Newark water coalition. Talk a little bit more about how new work is battling part of this like crisis as well but doctor Mona want to start with you Flint. I was just one community in this fight it's you helped in this crisis rather that you helped uncover one study recently found three housing communities and our country. Have led in the water at higher levels than you found in plant that's really something. Yet historian Lynn really lies like iceberg and once that came apart. We realize that this is not an isolated story there are communities throughout this nation. Where are drinking water is not safe. Something Clinton really just uncovered. Gallery seeing really ripple effects throughout the nation and where we need to do mark to protect the drinking water that comes out of our taps. And some of the biggest cities in America. Are part of this problem right now Cleveland Baltimore Newark. Rural parts of Missouri also suffering this problem. How are authorities identifying these places is there you know wave for residents across the country to find out if you're affected. Yes there is not easy way to find out if you have fun on Bob fine arts. And a lot of our bombing he led industry was very powerful not only him up but also got caught in. And sports reports three if you. An all these industries are quite some time really after we knew that the science. Vlad was with toxic. So not 1986. To restrict the use of lead service lines. Which on the water tight angle from on the water mains that are here outs but not until 2014. Dinners or use some lad and bombings of fixtures often especially. So those. Infrastructure on all of our community especially in older communities. On and eat out as an instantly email in box not infrastructure to get up to eight. On and to get it really to the point where I can fully protect public health and respect the science of what we Ellis asked about things like black. Yeah I saw by one estimate millions of miles of lead pipe around the country would need to be replaced to get rid of that threat it's a really. Daunting task for sure let's bring in Anthony Diaz into this because Newark. Is one of the city is facing a very high level we just lost. Anthony and fortunately so let's go back to doctor Mona because I wanted to ask about the prognosis of the children. In Flint, Michigan so many of us have followed this story our team was out there remember the work that you did on covering this crisis do you have. I sense of how some of those kids are doing now what the prognosis is for their help in the wake of the water. Sir I saw I lives being patient with whining in clinic implants and a can that I took air on our Antony thing in their brilliant or Smart that you all really our kids under mantis and get out. Make a difference in the world sell a lot of outlets and on this crisis had been making sure and putting into place on model. The makeshift children's out column are not impacted by what apple language so we than an important place like. Brent Tom Pearce and errors and making it expands and visiting programs early accent. All that think that. Crying and tell us support the growth and development children. Entered bigger earth like the Clinton registry which is this massive public down out there to see how people are doing. We'll see me atlas air opt out when they do and how Clinton adult doing weights everybody wants to know how to get involved. What we ought to share and that despite this crisis. Our art interventions were able to mitigate the impact of illicit sponsor. That's great news we do have Anthony Diaz back with us from New York. Anthony so Newark is one of these cities it's affected right now part of the tip of the spear on the country's. Led water crisis. Tell us what your organization is doing to curb that. Nor is an interesting case because our low levels are twice about it Flint, Michigan and you would think that's what garnered national attention but it has not. We are not hearing a lot of the same attention leads in New York as you've seen across other cities across the country. Don't one of the issues is that the city administration saying that the Warner spine there's nothing wrong with it. And this is absolutely not true. Our laps led results had a sent 57 parts per billion and we know the federal standards fifteen and then we also know that there is no safe level of lead. So the artwork Roloson exists or really educate the residents of north and it's really pushed back against this narrative that everything NC. We've given out water filters we've given our border testing samples and we continue to educate the populace. Just a few weeks ago I met I hope older woman who spills oil and her water because he believes that gets the let out. Now this is the type a problem that we exist to combat. And we think that you know we really aren't so robust education campaign and let the citizens know so there in the best parts possesses to protect themselves. Carter thinks Anthony Diaz co-founder of the Newark water coalition thank you sir for that a view on the situation in Newark one of the cities of the largest. Lead content in its water right now in the country. EPA says letting your water is odorless and tasteless you can educate yourself and get your city to test your water for you check that out at EPA dot gob.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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