New Infrastructure Upgrades are Improving Flint’s Water Quality

Recent infrastructure upgrades to Flint’s water system have shown to improve the city’s water quality. This news comes just as organized efforts presented a demand for safe and clean water.

The City is in receipt of a petition calling for safe and affordable drinking water. The petition contains more than 26,000 signatures from around the world, with over 50 of them from the City of Flint. The City Administration hears the concerns of those who are being affected by this situation and is diligently pursuing the most effective remedies to provide clean, affordable water to residents.

“I agree that water is a basic human right. Flint residents deserve water that is 100% safe, secure and affordable. The problems from 2014 are being addressed. We already pushed the button on the new carbon filters and they are working.” Mayor walling said in a statement, Monday.

City Administrator Natasha Henderson expressed the administration’s diligence in addressing the city’s infrastructure needs. “We are doing everything possible to make the system more secure, efficient and affordable. Water from the treatment plant is significantly better now and comparable with Detroit’s. The next quarterly report will be issued soon with the official test data. Other water issues are coming from the city’s aging infrastructure in the neighborhoods and from older plumbing in individual houses. Major efforts are underway with main repairs, valves, leak detection and hydrant flushing in accordance with the adopted capital improvement plan.”

Leak Detection System: An RF transmitter unit  sends sound signals through the system to a sensor connected farther along the line.
Leak Detection System: An RF transmitter unit sends sound signals through the system to a sensor connected farther along the line.

The City of Flint Public Works Department successfully installed the Granulated Activated Carbon media at the city’s water treatment plant. Internal tests have confirmed that the GAC filter media is greatly reducing the amount of Total Organic Carbon (TOC) in the water which is expected to significantly reduce the formation of total trihalomethanes (TTHM). The city is presently awaiting test results from the State.

One of the plant's twelve filters in full operation.
One of the plant’s twelve filters in full operation.

The City of Flint and LAN Engineering designed the plan for installing the GAC and work was coordinated with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. Installation of the GAC was a key recommendation by water service firm Veolia North America for addressing the issue of TTHM. The cost of the filters is approximately $1.6 million.

The City’s Public Works Department has launched a series of projects totaling six million dollars, which includes the city’s incinerator project. Projects include programs for leak detection, valve replacement, and water meter replacement. Hundreds of inoperable valves have been identified for repair or replacement. Water meter replacement began one month ago and is expected to greatly improve the accuracy of readings, reducing, if not eliminating, estimated reads throughout the city.

These initiatives will continue to greatly improve the city’s antiquated infrastructure and the efficient provision of clean, safe water to residents.

“The city’s new website and Problem Spotter are helping to improve our communication with residents,” said Public Works Director Howard Croft.

All of the initiatives are identified in the city’s Master Plan and Five-Year Capital Improvement Plan, which was unanimously adopted by City Council last year.