A local crisis and a national disgrace.

Three years ago, Flint made the switch to the Flint River water. However, that’s just one part of how the crisis began.

In March of 2013, the city of Flint decided to part with the Detroit Water System in favor of the Karegnondi Water Authority. Plans were made to switch to the Flint River in between.

That happened on April 25, 2014, causing the worst man-made disaster the country has ever seen.

The river water itself was more corrosive than the water from Detroit, but that alone wasn't enough to cause the ensuing crisis. A failure to use proper corrosion control caused lead to leach from city pipes.

In September of 2015, scientists realized it was contaminated with lead.

Then a series of cover ups and denials delayed action to fix the problem.

Since then, the city has received help from the state and federal government to repair the damage. While progress has been made, there's still a long road to recovery.

For the past three years, TV5 has shared your stories of living through the crisis.

Charges brought against city officials

Tuesday, April 25, 2017 the legal teams for four of the people accused of causing the crisis appeared in court.

Former Flint emergency managers Darnell Earley and Jerry Ambrose, as well as former city officials Howard Croft and Daugherty Johnson, are charged with conspiracy and other crimes.

The attorneys and prosecution argued their case in front of a judge about what can and cannot be used moving forward.

The next court date is tentatively set for June.

Marches held across the city

A march on city hall was held Tuesday afternoon to raise awareness of the crisis.

It was organized by the 3 Years Too Long coalition. The group demands an end to the emergency manager system and wants Flint residents to get more Medicare benefits and be relieved of their water bills.

The marches began at 12:30 p.m. at locations all around the city and converged downtown at City Hall at 2 p.m.

"It feels good making a difference," said Tony Atlis, Flint resident.

He was one of many Flint residents who took part in the march down Saginaw Street. Atlis is part of the group 3 Years Too Long.

Organizers of the march and rally said they want to get four things accomplished.

"Medicare coverage for all Flint residents who are affected by the water. We want Flint to be declared a federal disaster area so that we can get some more federal funds our way. We want the abolition of the emergency manager law, which is one of the causes of the water crisis. And we want a moratorium on water shut offs. We don't think people should have to pay for water they believe to be poison," said Ben Pauli, spokesperson for the march.

As for Atlis, he said besides the four goals his group has there is another very important purpose behind protesting the water crisis.

"Keeping it fresh in the people's minds so everyone outside of the city [doesn't] forget what we're going through," Atlis said.

For general information, please call (810) 336-2041 or visit FlintH20Justice on Facebook.

Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich issued the following statement on the anniversary:“My city was poisoned on April 25, 2014 — three years ago today. To this day, we are still reeling from the devastating effects of reckless emergency management and a state government that failed to keep us safe.

“My promise to my constituents is that I will continue to fight every day for them. I have written legislation to lower the lead action level, to increase accountability by re-establishing the water resources commission and to make Flint a Promise Zone — to name just a few — and I expect the Legislature to support these critical measures.

“My work isn’t done until every bad pipe is replaced, and every child and adult in Flint has the resources they need to get back on their feet.”>>Slideshow: March on 3 year anniversary of water crisis<<

Copyright 2017 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

Locations

Reporter

Recommended for you