99.8% of Flint Community Schools Filtered Water Results Testing as Well or Better Than Bottled Water Standards

Agency: Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy

July 30, 2018

Tiffany Brown, MDEQ Public Information Officer, BrownT22@michigan.gov, 517-284-6716

100% within federal Lead and Copper Rule standards; 88.3% not detected for lead

FLINT, Mich.  Over 99 percent of filtered water samples taken at Flint Community Schools (FCS) met the 5 parts per billion (ppb) bottled water standard and 100 percent of the samples were below the 15ppb federal Lead and Copper Rule (LCR) requirement.  The filtered water samples were taken from water coolers and bubblers where water is typically used for consumptive purposes.  The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) conducted the quarterly testing at all 13 Flint Community School Buildings between June 6 and July 9. 

Of the 420 filtered water samples tested, 100 percent or all of the samples were at or below 15ppb, 99.8 percent or 419 of the samples were at or below the 5ppb bottled water standard and lead was not detected in 88.3 percent or 371 of the samples. 

There are no government regulations requiring the testing of water at schools, day cares or elder care facilities. The State of Michigan is performing these rounds of testing to go above and beyond current federal regulations and meet proposed state regulations.

Previous Testing of Unfiltered Water at Flint Community Schools Showed Over 90% Below Bottled Water Standard

Previous testing of unfiltered water at FCS was conducted between January and March at faucets in the classrooms to get a worst-case scenario evaluation – yet still, more than 90 percent of the unfiltered water tested as well or better than the 5ppb bottled water standard. Of the 2,541 unfiltered water samples tested during three rounds of testing, 96 percent of the samples were at or below the 15ppb, 94.6 percent were at or below 10ppb, 90.4 percent were at or below the 5ppb bottled water standard and lead was not detected in 54.7 percent of the samples. 

Additionally, last November and December, state teams conducted flushing and testing at approximately 90 charter and parochial schools, day care and elder care facilities.  Of the 831 samples tested, 98.6 percent were at or below the 15ppb federal action level for lead, 97.6 percent were at or below 10ppb, 95.1 percent met the bottled water standard of 5ppb and lead was not detected in 80.9 percent of the samples.  Water samples collected were unfiltered at all locations where it was possible to bypass the filter.   

State officials have previously conducted extensive flushing and multiple rounds of testing, replaced fixtures and installed over 1,400 filters in schools, day care and elder care facilities. 

Flint’s Water Testing Below Federal Lead and Copper Requirements for Over Two Years

The city of Flint’s water system has tested well below action levels of the federal Lead and Copper Rule for over two years or for four consecutive 6-month monitoring periods.  The most recent 6-month monitoring period from Jan. 1 through June 30 shows that 90 percent of the Tier I (high-risk) samples collected are at or below 6ppb.

The 6-month compliance period between July 1, 2017 and Dec. 31, 2017 was 6 ppb, between Jan. 1, 2017 and June 30, 2017 was 7ppb and 12ppb between July 1, 2016 and Dec. 31.

Federal regulations require that at least 90 percent of tests come in at or below 15ppb. A Tier I site is considered at higher risk per federal guidelines. This includes homes that have a confirmed lead service line or meet other criteria that make it an eligible location to determine compliance with the federal LCR.

Free Water Filters and Water Test Kits Continue to be Available to Flint Residents

Free water filters, replacement cartridges and water test kits continue to be available at City Hall and by calling CORE (Community Outreach and Resident Education) at 810-238-6700 for residents who have service line replacements underway at their homes or for residents who would feel more comfortable using a filter until their confidence in the water quality can be reestablished.

CORE team members have made multiple visits to homes where a water test hasn’t been submitted to encourage residents to have their water tested for free.  Teams made over 8,500 contacts and provided nearly 6,000 water testing kits, with some residents passing on the opportunity to get their water tested.  A follow-up visit is made to any home with a residential water test result over 15ppb.

In addition to the residential water testing effort, CORE members have completed more than 525,500 visits at Flint homes and had over 164,900 conversations with residents to make sure they are properly installing and maintaining their filters and aware of available resources. 

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. 

State taxpayers have provided more than $350 million to Flint, in addition to the $100 million from the federal government. The funding is helping with water quality improvements, pipe replacement, healthcare, nutritional food distribution, educational resources, job training and creation, and more.

Testing results can be found by visiting www.michigan.gov/flintwater.

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