What should Michigan marijuana growers and marijuana growers in other states know about the Flint water crisis?
Advanced Nutrients hydroponics manufacturer founder Michael Straumietis recalls that during his visit to a High Times Cannabis Cup in Michigan, he talked to growers who were having water problems.
“Fortunately, they were using our pH Perfect base nutrients. They had the best outcomes a Michigan grower could hope to have because our pH Perfect nutrients automatically balance pH to the sweet spot no matter how bad the water is,” Straumietis said. “They noticed their water smelled and tasted bad, and their water filters had to be replaced way too frequently.”
Straumietis warns that most municipal water and even well water in the United States is polluted, so you need to use reverse osmosis water if you want the best crop outcomes.
“Even if all you do is drink water, you need reverse osmosis to clean it,” he said. “Most water is polluted.”
I knew two marijuana growers on the Flint water system during the time when Flint residents were using water from the Flint River.
They told me their tap water was fouling their reverse osmosis filters fast.
They were spending a hundred dollars a month replacing the filters.
And they got rashes when they took showers.
Their household non-reverse osmosis water smelled like shit and was colored like it too, they said.
And they were having marijuana plant problems that seemed related to nutrients issues, but they couldn’t figure out how to stop the problems.
All of this points to bad water, which is an increasing problem nationwide.
In case you’re not familiar with the Flint water crisis, here’s a summary:
- In 2013, Republican Governor Rick Snyder appoints an unelected city manager to make decisions in Flint, taking away the governance power of the elected mayor and city council.
- In April 2014, the emergency manager switched Flint from Detroit municipal water to Flint River water, allegedly in an effort to save money. The Flint municipal government, stripped of its authority, went along with the switch.
- Flint residents immediately begin complaining that the new water supply is tainted and causing illness. Nobody listens to them.
- In August and September 2014, Flint residents are told by city officials to boil water to remove dangerous bacteria.
- In October 2014, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) makes excuses for Flint water pollution, claiming the bad water is not because Flint River is being used, but is because of old pipes and cold weather.
- In October 2014, Flint’s General Motors manufacturing plant stops using Flint River water because the water is ruining car parts.
- In January 2015, Detroit’s water system offers substantial savings if Flint reconnects to Detroit water supply, but the emergency manager says no. Also in January, 2015, a Michigan government department started providing bottled water to its Flint employees, fearing that tap water was harming them. This was at the same time that Michigan government officials were telling Flint residents their water was safe.
- In February 2015, Governor Rick Snyder was informed by his subordinates that Flint residents are complaining about their water supply. Snyder does nothing.
- Also in February 2015, independent testing shows toxic levels of lead in Flint tap water. Flint residents notify federal Environmental Protection Agency (E.P.A.) that Flint water pollution vastly exceeds federal safety standards. Nothing is done, even after MDEQ and E.P.A. officials discuss the issue.
- In late February 2015, an E.P.A. expert warns that state testing of Flint water was likely flawed and was underestimating levels of lead, which is an extremely toxic substance, especially for young children. The expert was later removed from the Flint water investigation, by a corrupt E.P.A. administrator who was later forced to resign because of her handling of the Flint water crisis.
- In a March 2015 email, a Michigan Department of Environmental Quality’s spokesman told Snyder aide Harvey Hollins that nearly 50 cases of Legionnaires’ Disease had been reported since the previous April, when Snyder’s emergency manager switched Flint to the Flint River as its water source. Some scientists suspect the disease outbreak is associated with Flint River water used as tap water. Snyder denied knowing about the Legionnaires’ Disease problem until 2016.
- During summer and autumn of 2015, Flint residents continue to complain about bad water, and illnesses caused by it, while state and federal officials do nothing to help them.
- In some cases, state officials insult Flint residents who were complaining about municipal water quality. They privately describe residents as crazy and stupid for complaining about Flint’s water supply.
- In September 2015, and outside expert from Virginia Tech explicitly states that Flint River water is extremely acidic (very low pH) and therefore stripping lead from pipes and making tap water toxic. MDEQ argues against this claim and does nothing.
- Local doctors seeing massive illness from Flint River water plead with officials to stop using it, but state officials insist the water is safe.
- Governor Snyder is again told about Flint water problems on September 28, 2015. In October, Snyder orders that water filters be distributed to Flint residents. He also authorizes more water testing.
- In October 2015, Flint is reconnected to Detroit’s water supply, but by now the corrosive Flint River water has done its damage to pipes, appliances, industry, and people.
- As more and more documentary evidence surfaces showing that Snyder’s administration knew of the Flint water problems and did nothing to stop them, Snyder employs expensive public relations straegists who create a political cover-up and shift-the-blame game, falsely claiming he didn’t know about the water problems until October 2015. He tries to blame the federal government and state bureaucrats instead of the Flint emergency manager he appointed. But many Michiganders call for Rick Snyder to be arrested and jailed. I’m one of them.
- In January 2016, Flint and its surrounding county are put into an official “state of emergency,” and some people are given bottled water. To add insult to injury, Snyder proposes to refund a small portion of what Flint residents paid for the toxic municipal water. Water billing rates for Flint residents have been the highest in the country.
- Republican Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, a long-time marijuana hater who has tried for years to gut Michigan’s medical marijuana law, is legal counsel defending Michigan government officials, including Rick Snyder. At the same time, Schuette is the state official allegedly investigating to see who if anyone will be held responsible for the Flint water crisis. Nobody expects Schuette to do anything other than to cover for Snyder and his cronies, and to blame the crisis on emergency managers or other low-level employees.
- Journalists obtain emails Snyder sent to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality instructing them to wait nearly a week before telling the public about test results showing Flint water was poisoned.
- Snyder and his cronies are suspected of committing crimes in regards to the Flint water crisis, but Snyder’s massive legal fees and attorneys are being paid for by taxpayers. Not only that, but Republican Attorney General Bill Schuette, who claims he’s doing a thorough investigation, has already indicated he sees himself as Snyder’s defender against criminal charges. And Schuette’s office is acting like a private law firm, billing Michigan taxpayers for millions of dollars.
In April, 2016, as we predicted, Schuette protects Snyder. He files charges against three lower-level officials who either worked for Michigan’s Department of Environmental Quality, or the city of Flint. The officials were charged with misconduct in office and conspiracy to tamper with evidence. The two state officials are also accused of misleading the federal Environmental Protection Agency about how Flint treated its water.
The sad thing is, water pollution including lead contamination is a problem nationwide.
Read this for more information about whether water in your area is lead-toxic.
Bad water does more than make it hard for you to properly feed your marijuana plants.
It harms your water heater, dishwasher, clothes washer, pipes, faucets, and hydroponics equipment.
Bad water especially wrecks deep water culture and aeroponics systems by gumming up and/or corroding pumps, drip irrigation, and aeroponics misters.
High lead levels will whack all but the best hydroponics nutrients, and Flint’s water was coming in from the river extremely acidic.
The only Flint marijuana growers who avoided catastrophic problems were those using reverse osmosis water and the Advanced Nutrients pH Perfect hydroponics base nutrients program that balances pH so marijuana plants could take in all the nutrients they need… no matter how bad the originating water is.
As you can imagine, lead is as toxic to cannabis plants as it is to people.
In fact, if lead stores in marijuana plants and you consume buds from those plants, you could get serious illness.
So not only did Rick Snyder and his cronies poison Flint residents, he also poisoned marijuana plants and people who consumed them.
The other fact is bad water is becoming a big problem in many parts of America, not just in Flint, Michigan.
Especially if your water comes into your home higher than 100 parts per million, if it’s discolored or smells bad, have it tested.
Have your water supply tested to see what chemicals, elements, minerals, and other substances are in it when it enters your house, whether it comes from municipal supply or well water.
If your tap water is heavily polluted, have a plumber look at your pipes, water heater, plumbing fixtures, toilets, faucets, shower heads and anything else that could be affected.
Straumietis advises Michigan marijuana growers and growers everywhere to have whole house water filtration and a reverse osmosis filter.
The chlorine and chloramines in most tapwater are enough to destroy beneficial microbes that assist and empower your cannabis plants’ roots, he says.
Any marijuana user who suspects they’ve consumed lead-tainted marijuana or lead-tainted water should go to a doctor and be tested for blood lead levels.
And another thing to remember: always flush your marijuana crops during the last days before harvest.
“Growers in soil, coco coir, deep water culture, hydroton, and every other marijuana growing system should use our Flawless Finish flusher formula for 5-10 days before harvest,” Straumietis says. “Our formula is the only flusher engineered for marijuana, and it allows your plants to keep on producing cannabinoids, terpenoids, and weight even as they purge contaminants so your crop smokes and tastes better.”
So there you have it.
Just another day for us Michigan marijuana growers, in a state where the governor poisons kids and gets away with it!