Flint Water Quality Restored, Testing Well Below Federal Action Level and Comparable to Other Cities Across the State

Agency: Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy

January 12, 2018

Contacts: Tiffany Brown, MDEQ Public Information Officer, brownT22@michigan.gov, 800-662-9278

90th Percentile Lead Values Across MichiganFLINT, Mich.  The city of Flint’s water system has tested well below action levels of the federal Lead and Copper Rule for the third consecutive 6-month monitoring period.  The latest round of testing shows that 90 percent of the Tier I samples collected are at or below 6 parts per billion (ppb), which is less than half of the 15 ppb federal action level. 

“For 18 months, data has shown that Flint’s water quality is restored and testing the same or better than many cities across the state and country,” 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.  "In addition to the positive water testing data to date, Mayor Karen Weaver’s service line replacement program is an important component to the future long-term integrity of the Flint water system and we look forward to the continued partnership and improvements to the system.”

LCR 6-Month Monitoring Report Update

Lead and Copper Rule (LCR)The 90th percentile lead value of samples collected from Tier 1 sites for the 6-month compliance period between July 1, 2017 and Dec. 31, 2017 was 6 ppb with 94 percent of the samples at or below the15 ppb federal action level for lead.  Federal regulations require that at least 90 percent of tests come in at or below 15 ppb. 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.  Results from the 6-month compliance period between Jan. 1, 2017 and June 30, 2017 were 7 ppb and 12 ppb between July 1, 2016 and Dec. 31, 2016.

Water Testing Efforts at Schools, Day Care and Elder Care Facilities

Discussions are ongoing between state, city and Flint Community School officials regarding a plan to conduct extensive flushing and testing in the schools. 

Since early-November, state teams have conducted flushing and testing at more than 65 charter and parochial schools, day care and elder care facilities.  Nearly 99 percent of the samples collected tested at or below the 15 ppb federal action level for lead.  Further, 95 percent met the bottled water standard of 5 ppb and lead was not detected in 81 percent of the samples collected.  MDEQ is working closely with any facility that had an exceedance. 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.

CLEAR and residential water testing update

Testing has also shown that service line replacement is an important component to the future long-term integrity of the Flint water system.  The last round of CLEAR (Confirming Lead Elimination After Replacement) testing data shows that 100 percent of the samples collected were below the 15 ppb federal action level after service line replacement was completed.  Service lines have been replaced at over 6,200 residences to date.

CORE (Community Outreach and Resident Education) 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 nearly 8,500 contacts and provided nearly 6,000 water testing kits, with some residents passing on the opportunity to get their water tested. 

In addition to the residential water testing effort, CORE members have completed over 449,300 visits at Flint homes and had over 141,400 conversations with residents to make sure they are properly installing and maintaining their filters and aware of available resources. 

While data supports that the use of water filters becomes a matter of personal choice after service line replacement, out of an abundance of caution, residents are reminded to use filters for six months after service lines are replaced to ensure protection against possible particulate releases due to physical disruptions caused during the service line replacement. 

Residents can call 810-238-6700 with questions about filter usage or to schedule a home visit by a CORE member.

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