Flint Enters 6th Consecutive Year in Compliance of Lead and Copper Rule

FLINT, MI — The City of Flint enters its sixth consecutive year of compliance for lead in drinking water, in accordance with Lead and Copper Rule (LCR) standards set by The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) and the Environmental Protection Agency. The LCR requires municipalities to monitor lead service lines for residential (Tier-1) and businesses (Tier-2) to ensure lead concentration levels are below 15 parts per billion (ppb). This latest round of LCR monitoring spanning six consecutive months (July 1 thru December 31, 2021), showed 90 percent of water samples collected came at or below 7 ppb for lead. These results are even more significant as testing standards now fall under new, stricter state rule, requiring a fifth liter sample to better reflect the impact of lead service lines. 

Although Flint’s latest testing result of 7ppb is higher than its previous 6-month result of 3 ppb, the City’s drinking water is still well below the federal action level. The higher ppb result is attributed to an increase in the number of Tier-2 sites included in the sampling, and also represents the largest number of non-residential samples to-date used in calculating Flint’s 90th percentile. In addition, the vast majority of Tier-1 sites have had their lead service lines replaced and no longer meet the criteria for inclusion in the 90th percentile calculation.

The City’s public health navigators and water distribution operators nearly doubled the number of required samples, 60 based on Flint’s population, collecting 115 in advance of the deadline. Of that number, 71 samples met the LCR validation criteria and among those, 40 were homes and apartments and 31 were businesses including one church.

“These latest results are a testament to the hard work of our health navigators, water advisory and community groups, our state and federal partners, and this administration,” said Mayor Sheldon Neeley. “As we continue to meet LCR compliance, which have become more rigorous, we are rebuilding the community’s trust toward a stronger Flint for us all. There is still more work to be done, but this news serves as a positive tangible reminder of what we can achieve together.”

Flint has also conducted excavations to determine service line material composition at approximately 95 percent of its residential locations, as stipulated in the Concerned Pastors settlement agreement. City officials urge any remaining water customers with suspected lead service lines to opt into the city’s free replacement program.

“We’re pleased to see that Flint’s work to eliminate residential lead service lines shows a sustained drop in lead levels across the city,” said Eric Oswald, director of EGLE’s Drinking Water and Environmental Health Division. “The data we are now seeing from the Tier 2 sites is also an important reminder to business owners to flush their lines after extended periods of stagnation, which may have been caused by pandemic-related closures.”  

Oswald also noted that the highest lead level recorded among the 71 samples tested was 3,492 ppb from a church, which has been closed since the start of the pandemic. These results further underscore the need for active water usage to maintain water quality.

To learn more about Flint’s testing results visit https://www.michigan.gov/flintwater/.

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 Important information for residents:

• Additional LCR information from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy and monitoring letter.

• For residents who may have missed the deadline for lead service line replacement, they may complete the City’s Get the Lead Out consent form.

• For water emergencies or issues with water service, call (810) 766-7202 [water] and (810) 766-7079 [sewer]. This line is monitored 24/7.

• For non-emergency questions or concerns, email [email protected] This email is monitored by DPW department staff.

• For the latest updates on the progress of Flint’s water infrastructure projects, visit https://www.cityofflint.com/progressreport/

• For weekly community updates from Mayor Neeley, tune into WFLT 1420-AM or watch live on Facebook on Saturdays at 9 a.m.