Flint, Mich. – The state of Michigan is encouraging Flint residents to check their water filters and pay close attention to the light on the filter so they know when it needs to be changed. A red light means the filter should be changed immediately. A green light means the filter is working. A yellow light means the filter is working, but will need to be changed soon. When the yellow light is on, people should pick up a new filter at a water resource site.
Recently, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released results showing that lead-removal filters are working as expected in Flint homes with high lead levels. The EPA and the state Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) continue to recommend that Flint residents use NSF-certified filters in their homes. The use of filtered water is especially important for drinking, food preparation, brushing teeth and pets. Unfiltered water may be used for bathing and cleaning. Pregnant woman and children under six years of age should continue to drink only bottled water.
An EPA Fact Sheet on the use of lead filters and keeping families safe can be found here.
The EPA and DEQ both encourage residents and businesses to flush their water for two to five minutes through all taps every day. This will assist with flushing their individual pipes as well as rescaling the water system as a whole. This should be done first thing in the morning after the water system has been stagnant for several hours.
To prolong the life of their filter, this daily flushing should be done with the filter turned to the off position. Once the system has been flushed for two to five minutes, the filter should be turned back on for all cooking and drinking.
Residents are also reminded to clean the aerator on every household faucet every week, including faucets with filters.
Flint residents are reminded that used filters can be dropped off at water resource sites in designated boxes. Replacement filters and cartridges can be picked up at the same location.
Free water filter cartridges, water filters, bottled water and water testing kits are available from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the following water resource sites:
Fire Station #1 (also a recycling site)
310 East 5th St.
Fire Station #3
1525 Martin Luther King Ave.
Fire Station #5 (also a recycling site)
3402 Western Rd.
Fire Station #6
716 West Pierson Rd.
Fire Station #8 (also a recycling site)
202 East Atherton Rd.
All water filters distributed by the State of Michigan are certified by NSF International for lead reduction. Individuals wishing to verify that a specific filter is NSF-certified can do so via the NSF website.
The State of Michigan continues to coordinate response efforts in partnership with federal agencies, the city of Flint, Genesee County and local community organizations.