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Flint maintains compliance with lead standards
August 08, 2023
Twice yearly testing shows positive impact of water infrastructure improvements
The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) today announced that the City of Flint’s Lead and Copper Rule (LCR) monitoring has shown the 90th percentile for lead to be 8 parts per billion (ppb). This result marks the seventh consecutive year the city’s water has met the requirements of the Safe Drinking Water Act.
Since July 2016, the city of Flint’s water system has tested below action levels for both lead and copper during 14 consecutive monitoring periods. The latest six-month monitoring period from Jan. 1, 2023, through June 30, 2023, resulted in a 90th percentile calculation for the samples collected of 8 ppb for lead. This includes Michigan’s stricter-than-federal requirement that a fifth liter sample be collected to better reflect the impact of lead service lines.
The 90th percentile calculation of 8 ppb means 90 percent of the test results used in the calculation came in at or below 8 ppb. The latest testing result is lower than the previous 6-month period result of 9 ppb for lead and remains below the federal action level of 15 ppb.
Test results from 30 residences (Tier 1) and 32 commercial properties (Tier 2) served by lead service lines, showed four sites above the 15 ppb action level. Testing revealed that all four of the results were collected from Tier 2 sites where low water use patterns and aging interior plumbing continue to be contributing factors to lead levels. Of the four elevated results, two of them were attributable to 1st liter samples, which reflect the presence of lead in fixtures and adjoining plumbing. Overall, the results are consistent with data from recent monitoring periods and continue to demonstrate that the city’s corrosion control program is effective.
Tier 2 sites make up a growing portion of Flint’s water sampling pool as more than 95 percent of residential sites have had their lead service lines replaced. If only the 30 residential sites had been used in the calculation, the result would have been 2 ppb. All sites were notified of their results and actions were taken to reduce exposure.
Strategies to reduce lead exposures in the home can be found on Michigan.gov/MiLeadSafe.
Michigan in 2018 adopted the nation’s toughest lead rules for drinking water. The state’s Lead and Copper Rule (LCR) requires that all lead service lines in the state be removed. Water supplies are required to replace an average of five percent of their lead service lines annually over a 20-year period that started in 2021. Starting in 2025, the rule lowers the action level to 12 ppb.
Flint’s testing results can be found by visiting Michigan.gov/FlintWater. Additional information about Michigan’s new testing requirements and results state-wide can be found at Michigan.gov/MiLeadSafe.