Community Flint Water Crisis Health and Wellness

City records lowest lead levels yet since creation of stricter state standards for lead in drinking water

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) announced recently that the city of Flint’s water system has met state and federal standards for lead in drinking water for five years in a row.

Since July 2016, Flint’s water system has tested below action levels of the federal Lead and Copper Rule (LCR) during 10 consecutive monitoring periods. The latest six-month monitoring period from Jan. 1 through June 30 shows that 90% of the samples collected are at 3 parts per billion (ppb) under the new, stricter state rule that requires a fifth liter sample to better reflect the impact of lead service lines.

“This speaks to the significant progress we have made in water safety for the City of Flint,” Mayor Sheldon Neeley said. “Water is a human right and providing quality water is a humanitarian effort that we all must work toward. We will continue to move our community forward in a positive direction. Together we rise.”

The latest test results were calculated from drinking water samples drawn from 71 homes, apartment buildings, and businesses known to have lead service lines. Flint officials expect to have all the city’s remaining lead service lines replaced before the end of the year.

Ongoing monitoring by EGLE and the city also confirm that other water quality measures like residual chlorine and ortho phosphate levels are being effectively managed.

“The people of Flint deserve safe, clean drinking water,” said EGLE director Liesl Clark. “I’d like to be the first to congratulate the mayor and city staff for reaching this important milestone. EGLE remains committed to protecting residents from lead exposure by working collaboratively with the city to reduce and ultimately eliminate sources of lead in their drinking water system.”

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 every year for the next 20 years. Starting in 2025, the rule lowers the action level to 12 ppb.

Flint’s testing results can be found by visiting https://www.michigan.gov/flintwater/. Additional information about Michigan’s new testing requirements and results state-wide can be found at https://www.michigan.gov/mileadsafe/.

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