The struggle of one South Carolina community to secure clean drinking water gained more national attention Tuesday night after 2020 White House hopeful Marianne Williamson mentioned the issue during the second Democratic presidential debate.
Asked about her infrastructure plan, Williamson mentioned her most recent trip to Denmark – a town struggling with the quality of its drinking water – calling it the next Flint, Michigan.
“This is the dark underbelly of the American society,” Williamson said.
The author and self-help guru added that towns with large minority populations are often the ones suffering with poor infrastructure and undrinkable water.
Flint, Michigan, became the representative community for those cities after experiencing a major water crisis in 2014.
In a series published in March, The State uncovered issues shared by small drinking water systems across the state, including how utilities are having a hard time providing basic services. Hundreds of those systems have been found in violation of safe drinking water laws.
After the story broke, several 2020 presidential hopefuls sounded off on the issue, including U.S. Sens. Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren.
In May, Sanders visited Denmark to talk to residents about the tainted drinking water issues in their community, holding a town hall at Denmark Technical College to discuss the issue.
In July, Harris referenced the poor water quality again after releasing a multi-billion dollar plan to clean up and improve low-quality drinking water systems.
Later, former U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke drew attention again to Denmark’s water during a stop in Flint, Michigan.
Williamson participated in the first night of the second round of Democratic presidential debates, broadcast by CNN on Tuesday in Detroit. Other candidates, including former Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Sens. Harris and Cory Booker participated in Wednesday's debate.