Click on the audio player above to hear this interview.
A 2013 report done by the American Society of Civil Engineers gave America's water infrastructure a D+. The group estimated that most of the pipes that supply drinking water to the population will no longer be viable in the near future. The American Water Works Association suggests that the cost to replace those pipes could reach more than $1 trillion.
"In a way, we ought to look at it as a canary in the coal mine for the entire infrastructure for this country," says Tom Loughlin, executive director of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.
He says that the situation in Flint, Michigan should be a learning lesson, not a political one. He's says the next generation of engineers should undertake an activist approach to find solutions that improve the quality of life and prevent disasters with drinking water infrastructure.