Flint Officials Taking Extra Steps to Inform Water Customers of Lead Sampling Results

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Info about Lead in Drinking Water (Click to view details)

August 22, 2016 (Flint, MI) — The City of Flint, in collaboration with the Environmental Protection Agency and Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, will be sending notices to Flint water customers after finding an increased level of lead in some water samples taken this year. Officials say the lead tap sampling from January through June 2016 taken in areas identified as high risk showed a lead value in the 90th percentile of 20 parts per billion (ppb) which exceeds the federal action level of 15 ppb. In light of the ongoing concerns regarding lead in the city’s water supply, Flint’s Utilities Administrator (Temp.) JoLisa McDay, has worked with EPA and MDEQ to provide all water customers with education materials about the issue as required. But, she also notes lead testing results provided by the EPA and MDEQ within the last month show the issue with the water quality appears to be getting better.

“The most recent rounds of extended sentinel monitoring have shown a significant improvement in the system,” said McDay.

While city officials along with representatives from EPA and MDEQ have been providing public updates on water testing results since January 2016, residents will also receive information in the mail. These mailings will occur annually if the Flint Water System lead sampling results exceed the federal action level.

Over the next week or so, Flint water customers will receive a three page public education document (shown in link above) that includes information on how to reduce lead exposure. Since the test results show the city has exceeded the limit for lead this year, there will be a notation on future utility bills that states:

“The City of Flint Water System found high levels of lead in drinking water in some homes.  Lead can cause serious health problems.  For more information please call the Flint Water Plant or visit www.michigan.gov/flintwater.”

The City has been working to optimize corrosion control treatment in order to recoat the pipes to prevent lead from leaching into the water.  Officials will continue to optimize and maintain this treatment as required for all large systems under the Lead and Copper Rule.

The MDEQ and EPA Flint Water Response Team spent much of the last six months investigating homes in Flint looking for lead service lines.  Earlier this year, Mayor Karen Weaver launched her FAST Start program to remove lead tainted service lines in Flint. So far 33 lines have been replaced, and the next phase of the initiative is now underway in which 200-250 lead-tainted pipes are set to be replaced.

The information residents will soon receive in the mail will be helpful as we work together to keep residents informed, while city leaders take steps to provide clean, safe drinking water and get the lead out of Flint.

“In the meantime, please continue using bottled water and filters and make sure you change your filter cartridge when needed,” said Mayor Weaver.

Residents who have questions about the information can call the Flint Water Plant at (810) 787-6537.

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Kristin Moore

About the Author:

Kristin Moore is the Public Information/Communications Director for the City of Flint. She spent years working as a TV news reporter and anchor in and outside of Michigan. A Flint native, Kristin is excited to now be part of the team working to move Flint forward!
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