City of Flint collects 163 water samples to test water quality

FLINT, Michigan—The City of Flint collected 163 water samples as part of a massive effort to test water quality.

Even though collection efforts were halted for two months to comply with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s executive order as well as to protect employees and residents, the City of Flint distributed more than 300 tests in an effort to meet state and federal testing requirements. 

Of the 163 water samples collected, 44 were deemed invalid because paperwork was not properly filled out. In total, the City of Flint turned in 119 tests to the state of Michigan. At least 60 of those samples must be valid to meet state and federal testing guidelines. 

It will take several weeks for a final determination of how many of those samples meet all the testing requirements. The state of Michigan allowed for an extension to check the service lines to ensure they meet testing criteria.

“The utility would like to thank the Flint firefighters and public health navigators who assisted in sample collection,” said Robert Bincsik, director of the Department of Public Works. “I am pleased with the number of samples the team was able to collect, especially considering the impact of COVID-19 on our operations.”

The City of Flint’s public health navigators and firefighters assisted the Department of Public Works to conduct outreach to residents whose homes were believed to fulfill the specialized testing requirements and encourage them to participate. 

It is increasingly difficult to find service lines in Flint that meet Tier I testing criteria because the vast majority of residential lead service lines have been replaced in the City of Flint. 

The most recent previous round of testing completed Dec. 31, 2019, showed the 90th percentile water testing results for lead were 4 ppb, according to the state of Michigan. The federal action level is 15 ppb.