Gov. Rick Snyder: Testing progress made in Flint with second round of sentinel site data collected and analyzed

Concerns being identified and additional actions taken

March 1, 2016

LANSING, Mich. – The state is continuing to collect results on scientific water testing in Flint with data now being collected and analyzed from approximately 600 sentinel sites, Gov. Rick Snyder said today.

Results from 423 sites that were recently added show more than 91 percent of the samples are at or below the federal action level of 15 parts per billion. There are still concerns at just below 9 percent of the sites.

Sentinel sites are locations across the city that will be continually tested to gather scientifically sound data needed to determine the safety of the water. The sites are established by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in cooperation with residents.

“There is still a lot of work to do and we will not be satisfied that the water is ready until we see the results of many tests that can ensure the water truly is safe to drink,” Snyder said. “That’s why we are so appreciative of the residents who are willing to work with us to have their water regularly tested as part of this official scientific survey. By working together, we can help get people the water they need straight from their tap and help the city and its residents move forward.”

Starting with the next round, testing for Groups A and B will be streamlined and combined to make it easier on residents and allow the results to be processed and reported together more easily. Testing will continue in two-week intervals for both test groups with sample results posted the week following the sample. Sentinel site residences receive individual test results within a week by mail.

Data from the sentinel sites is being collected over the next six weeks in two groupings that will total approximately 600 sites across the city. Initial testing in sentinel group A took place from Feb. 10-14 in 180 Flint residences. The first round of testing for sentinel group B started last week.

The first tests for group B to date included 423 samples that were tested for lead and copper. Just over 90 percent (386) of the samples were below the EPA action level for lead (15 ppb) while 37 of the samples (8.7 percent) exceeded the action level for lead. Eight samples exceed 100 ppb. The residents at these sites were notified and scheduled for a home visit. The NSF-approved filters distributed by the state are certified for lead reduction up to 150 ppb.

Sentinel teams visiting homes include a member of the DEQ, a licensed plumber and a community member. The teams show residents how to draw samples of their water in a scientifically accurate manner so they may submit regular samples to the state for testing.

For all residential water testing samples, home follow-up visits have been streamlined to ensure homes with levels higher than 150 parts per billion are contacted by MDEQ and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services within 48 hours. Homes with levels between 100 and 150 ppb are contacted within seven days for a home visit. Again, the NSF-approved filters distributed by the state are certified for lead reduction up to 150 ppb.

A home visit includes:

  • Water testing and sampling information
  • Water sample collection
  • Inspection by the Flint Local 370 Plumbers Union (field verification of service line, aerator cleanout, filter check)
  • Additional bottled water, filters and water sample kits
  • Health and wellness information
  • Off-site blood test referral
  • Assistance with transportation support for appointments, as necessary

Additional information about the Flint water emergency is available at www.michigan.gov/flintwater, by calling United Way 211 or visiting www.helpforflint.com.

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