Flint Water Quality Has Tested Below Action Level for Federal Lead and Copper Rule for Past 12 Months

Contact: Tiffany Brown, brownt22@michigan.gov 517-242-1376
Agency: Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy

July 26, 2017

State, city, community leaders to maintain fewer PODs as need for bottled water decreases

FLINT, MICH.  The City of Flint’s water system has again tested well below action levels of the federal Lead and Copper Rule for the second consecutive 6-month monitoring period.  The latest round of testing shows that 90 percent of the Tier I samples collected are at or below 7 parts per billion (PPB), which is less than half of the federal action level.  Flint’s water quality is restored and now tests the same or better than many cities across the state and country. 

“Restoration of Flint’s water quality is a significant milestone for the city and is the result of many partners on the local, county, state and federal levels, as well as independent experts working together,” said Keith Creagh, director of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and former interim director of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality who remains the principal on Flint water. “The city’s water is one of the most monitored systems in the U.S. with respect to lead, and the department remains committed to making sure residents continue receiving quality water.”

The 90th percentile lead value of samples collected from Tier 1 sites for the 6-month compliance period between Jan. 1, 2017, and June 30, 2017, was 7 ppb with 94.5 percent of the samples at or below the15 PPB federal action level for lead.  A Tier I site is considered at higher risk per federal guidelines. This includes homes that have a lead service line or meet other criteria that make it an eligible location to determine compliance with the federal LCR.  The 90th percentile lead value for the previous 6-month compliance period between July 1, 2016, and Dec. 31, 2016, was 12 PPB.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency provided a letter concurring with the latest testing data results.

Gov. Rick Snyder, Mayor Karen Weaver, Concerned Pastors for Social Action and other community leaders, have come together and formulated a plan focused on the community‘s needs in deciding what action to take in response to this good news.

As a result of the recent water quality testing results, there are multiple items that are no longer required by the Concerned Pastors for Social Action settlement agreement that was settled in federal court back in April of 2017. An example of one of those items is the community points of distribution (PODs) where free bottled water is currently being distributed. Because the water quality has consistently met the federal requirements for safe drinking water, PODs will not be required after September.

However, under the plan, all but two of the less-trafficked and convenient PODs will remain open through the summer, and four PODs – one in each area of the city (north, east, south, and west) – will remain open indefinitely beyond that. 

“Make no mistake about it, according to the data, Flint’s water quality has been restored,” said Rich Baird, senior advisor to Governor Snyder and team leader for the state’s Mission Flint Office.  “But we also understand and want to be sensitive and responsive to residents’ concerns, which is why four PODs will remain open to provide residents additional time to prepare for the ultimate transition to using only filtered water.”

Transition instructions from bottled water to filtered water for Flint“As mayor of Flint, it’s important for residents to know that I hear and understand their concerns and am working on their behalf,” said Mayor Karen Weaver. “While it is great to see that test results show water quality in Flint continues to improve, I also understand that due to the man-made water crisis residents no longer trust the system and it will take time to rebuild that trust. Many people tell me they just aren’t ready to rely solely on water straight from the tap and I expressed those concerns to the governor. I am grateful that state officials along with business and community leaders have agreed to answer the calls from the community by working with me, and my Administration, to keep four PODs open indefinitely. This is what happens when leaders work together to do what is best for the people and it will take all of us working together to continue to move Flint forward.”

Out of an abundance of caution, residents are encouraged to use water filters in areas where construction activities are taking place to remove service lines.  The state will continue to provide free water filters, replacement cartridges and water testing kits until service line replacement is completed. 

Residents can call 810-238-6700 with questions about filter usage or to schedule a home visit by a Community Outreach and Resident Education (CORE) member. The CORE program was established to ensure Flint residents are properly installing, using and maintaining their water filters and aware of available resources. CORE teams are comprised of hired Flint residents going door-to-door to assist fellow residents.

Residents are reminded to ensure verification of official CORE credentials before allowing an individual into their home. Credentials include an official blue Flint Water Response Team badge with a security hologram, a GST MichiganWorks! badge with photo identification and a bright yellow vest. Team members will be ready to and are required to display their two pieces of identification at all times, and especially upon approach of a home. 

Related Documents
Reduction of State-Run Points of Distribution PDF icon