It starts getting its water from Flint Township — the same system that handled part of the overage when the pipe was broken.
But not at every plant — just this one engine plant. Or I don’t know, rig Soundflower to do the same thing. Ok, now I do a rough pass of this separated audio in a voice transcription app. Again, I use this partly because it (kinda) works, but mostly because I have it.
Over two days, 22 million gallons of raw human, industrial, residential, and commercial waste poured into the river. Morris Township, Karen Winchester saw hundreds of dead fish floating down the river past her property — catfish, carp, and bluegill, 3 to 20 inches long, all belly-up.
For 14 months, health officials prohibited swimming, fishing, or direct contact with the river…
A big part of my history of Flint River pollution, just published today, is about this 1999 accident where 22 million gallons of raw sewage was dumped into the river, killing fish and making the river unsafe for contact for about a year and a half.
It revealed all sorts of structural problems in the way sewage was being treated in the region, and happened right in the middle of a mayor’s race and an attempt to renegotiate the city’s water contract with Detroit.
I feel much happier about this than any of my previous setups, which leaned a little too heavily on procrastination and weeping. I’ve just started messing with Watson by way of Dan Nguyen’s video transcription project on Git Hub.
Also, I recently read Friend of the Snark Charlie Loyd’s entry on “The Setup” about the tools he uses, and feel correspondingly moved to actually tell people how I do things in the hope that they might add, improve, adopt, critique, be entertained, or otherwise benefit from it. Sometimes Watson works for me and sometimes it times out, which might be a function of my often-iffy Wi-Fi more than anything else. All I want for this quick-and-dirty transcription is a basic idea of what was said.
“As far as we know, no [community] uses the Flint River for a drinking water source,” he said. The water department in turn is supposed to mark the line. Just all the filth in the universe is leaping out of this pipe. The only thing you can do is divert some of it to other sewer lines, including into Flint Township, and dump the rest of it directly into the river. It then took the city more than two days to patch the broken pipe.
I pick whichever of the two transcription (pre-cut or post-cut) is more accurate, or maybe take pieces of both of them.
Then using Express Scribe, I do a fine-grained edit of the transcribed the text, checking it against the audio.
This was one of the early signs that there were serious problems with the city’s water, and was also emblematic of how they were dealt with — piecemeal, under the radar (although it was known), satisfying important interests, neglectful towards the vast majority of people who were more deeply affected. But it’s common, and you can do app-to-app calls or call an outside phone number. It’s like eating what’s in your fridge before you go back out shopping.
And damned if this GM plant that switched its water source isn’t the same GM plant Flint’s water department was helping get up and running fifteen years before when they should have been marking that sewage line. Most of what I do these days is interview sources and contacts on the phone. There are a bunch of call recording programs for Skype. You can also use You Tube, especially if you don’t care that Google might have a copy of your audio.