MILFORD, Mich.—On the surface, Diane O’Nions lives in luxury. The suburban Detroit subdivision she has called home since 2005, The Oaks at Beach Lake, showcases beautifully crafted homes that sit on sprawling plots of land with sloping lawns and intricate landscaping. And bottled water. A lot of bottled water. Cases upon cases of it. For more than a decade, O’Nions herself has gone through countless cases and jugs of water, neatly stacked in her garage, wrapped in their blue labels. It’s what she relies on for just about everything—drinking, cooking, brushing her teeth—and it’s all because her household water supply has been contaminated by excess salt, and now, she says, arsenic. “Pure Michigan,” the slogan on the bottles reads. The source of the excess salt and arsenic, she alleges, is her neighbor, America’s No. 1 automaker, the one that has operated a famed testing facility nearby known as the Milford Proving Ground since the 1920s and has paid for bottled water deliveries to her family’s home and their neighbors since 2014: General Motors. O’Nions and her husband moved to the rural swath of Michigan more than a decade ago, attracted by the striking homes, with their angles and big garages and thousands of square footage, and prospects of a solid school district for their son. To her, it seemed like a place the couple could grow old and retire. They never had a well for drinking water before, she said, so, in August 2005, concerned about the quality, they got… [Read full story]
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