NewsLocal News


Milwaukee vs. Flint: Which city leads on lead?

Posted at 7:56 PM, Jan 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-10 21:03:36-05

It's no secret Milwaukee has a lead problem but is it a bigger water catastrophe than the crisis that hit Flint, Michigan and raised alarms in 2014?

PolitiFact Wisconsin looks at a claim that compared Milwaukee to Flint.

"State Senator Lena Taylor, one of several candidates from Milwaukee Mayor in the Spring election, says Milwaukee has a clean water catastrophe with lead levels higher than Flint, Michigan," said Greg Borowski with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

PolitiFact Wisconsin looked at a couple of key metrics to break down Senator Taylor's comparison - water tested in homes and lead levels in the blood of children.

"By the numbers Senator Taylor is generally correct, levels of lead in the water is found through EPA mandated tests in Milwaukee are slightly higher than in Flint," said Borowski.

But there is one key difference and PolitiFact Wisconsin says it's a critical point.

Milwaukee's lead problems have to do with lead in the laterals or service pipes that go into homes and from lead-based paint in older homes.

That's different than Flint - where the lead problem was in the water supply.

"... she goes majorly awry, with her catastrophe claim especially in linking the two and making it seem as if the water is the only reason that there are problems with lead poisoning in the city of Milwaukee," said Borowski

PolitiFact Wisconsin rated his claim Half True.

Report a typo or error