Extended water testing in Flint continues showing positive signs

More than 91 percent of Tier 1 sites fall within Lead and Copper Rule limits

Friday, July 8, 2016

FLINT, Mich. – Continued water testing at targeted residences in Flint is still showing positive signs, Gov. Rick Snyder said today. The latest results of the Extended Sentinel Site Program show that more than 91 percent of Tier 1 sites were at or below the federal action level of 15 parts per billion.

The federal Lead and Copper Rule states that 90 percent of Tier 1 sites within a water system must be at or below 15 ppb. Nearly 85 percent of the Tier 1 sites were testing at or below 10 ppb, which is the level Gov. Snyder has proposed for Michigan to offer more protection for residents than federal rules provide.

"These results demonstrate that the combination of regular flushing, cleaning aerators and using filtered water routinely is making a difference in reducing lead levels in the water system throughout the city," Snyder said.

It was anticipated that as the weather became warmer, it was likely the lead levels in the water would go up. A small change was noticed when comparing the latest test results with the previous results, but the levels are still compliant with the Lead and Copper Rule. This is the second set of tests in a row that have shown more than 90 percent of the Tier 1 sites are below the federal action level.

The Extended Sentinel Site Program provides a more comprehensive picture of the effectiveness of the orthophosphate coating throughout the system, as well as regular data on the quality of the water distribution system throughout the city. The sites were established with the cooperation of residents by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and reviewed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The state is working with the city of Flint to continue efforts to replace lead service lines in Flint through a $25 million appropriation in the state budget, as well as the $2.5 million already provided for addressing lead service lines. All residents, including those who have had their service lines replaced, are being asked to continue the use of filters until further notice so that a complete evaluation of the service line process can be scientifically evaluated. 

Flushing faucets on a daily basis and cleaning faucet aerators weekly will help reduce the presence of lead. Government and independent scientists have confirmed that the government-supplied filters – when maintained properly – are effective for all residents of Flint, including pregnant women and children under 6 who previously were told to use bottled water.

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