The Stream, July 22, 2021: Detroit Residents Sue City Officials After Flooding


  • Wayne County, Michigan, residents file a class-action lawsuit against local officials after stormwater infrastructure failed to stop flooding in late June.
  • Floods in Germany leave thousands without running water while recovery workers worry about the spread of coronavirus.
  • Thousands of residents in the Chinese province of Henan were evacuated as heavy rains flooded parts of central China.
  • Stormwater drains in several cities across the Indian state of Punjab overflow amid heavy rainfall.

Rural water utilities across the United States lobby Congress amid concerns over new legislation to regulate toxic PFAS chemicals.

“The water utilities are not responsible for PFAS in drinking water,” – Mike Keegan, a regulatory analyst at the National Rural Water Association. Local water systems are lobbying Congress as lawmakers push to regulate PFAS chemicals in drinking water, according to the Iowa Capital Dispatch. Under legislation proposed by two Michigan lawmakers, Keegan said rural water utilities would be financially liable if a maximum contaminant level for PFAS chemicals is put in place by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. To adequately remove the chemicals, Keegan said utilities would likely need more money than the $200 million grant provided by the bill.

As Germany Floods Leave Thousands Without Running Water, Covid-19 Concerns Loom

Massive floods throughout Germany last week destroyed basic services in the Ahrweiler district, leaving thousands of residents in knee-deep debris without sewage or drinking water. Reuters reports that as recovery operations continue, mobile coronavirus vaccination sites have been set up to fight the ongoing pandemic during a time when other precautions like social distancing aren’t possible.



Unusually heavy rains inundated many parts of central China this week, The Independent reports. According to the Chinese state-run news agency, more than 10,000 residents in the Henan province were moved to shelters. No deaths or injuries were immediately reported.

125.4 MM

Heavy rains overflowed the Buddha Nullah in Ludhiana, despite claims from officials claiming continuous cleaning of the open drain. The Hindustan Times reports that other low-lying areas along the nullah saw water logging after water levels rose above the road levels and choked sewer lines. Some homes in the nearby city of Chander Nagar, prompting resident and social activist Keemti Rawal to file a complaint with the States Human Rights Commission against local officials.


Residents in Wayne County filed a class-action lawsuit against the Great Lakes Water Authority, Detroit Water and Sewerage Department, and the City of Detroit after heavy rains flooded homes and streets in late June. Reports that inoperable pumps in two GLWA pump houses on June 26 caused massive flooding on the east side of Wayne County. Fixing the region’s stormwater infrastructure would take billions of dollars and years to repair, WXYZ Detroit reports.

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