City of Flint Issues Lead Advisory
Flint, Michigan – September 25, 2015 – The City of Flint is issuing a Lead Advisory for residents to be aware of lead levels in drinking water after hearing concerns from the medical community. While the City is in full compliance with the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act, this information is being shared as part of a public awareness campaign to ensure that everyone takes note that no level of lead is considered safe.
The Genesee County Health Department has issued a fact sheet regarding lead precautions for residents. The fact sheet can be found on their website at www.gchd.us. Here are a few of the suggestions the Health Department recommends:
- Flush your cold-water pipes by running the water for approximately 5 minutes
- Use only water from the cold-water tap for drinking, cooking, and especially for making baby formula.
- Install a water filter that is NSF-certified for lead removal.
Lead contamination can leach into water from a home’s lead water service lines, lead solder, and leaded plumbing materials including fixtures, faucets, and fittings. Older service lines with pipes and fixtures installed before 1986 can sometimes be more susceptible to lead issues due to materials used in the home such as lead based paint and lead pipes.
This message is meant as a precaution to residents and does not mean that all homes in the City will experience the same issue. Residents with concerns about lead service lines and lead in home plumbing fixtures are encouraged to contact the City’s Utilities Division to schedule a free water testing by calling the Water Treatment Plant at 810-787-6537 and pressing #1 after prompted or by emailing email@example.com.
The City of Flint is working proactively along with the County Health Department, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to improve the water system throughout the City. An accelerated plan to add a corrosion control agent to our water within 30 to 60 days with expedited approval from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality is already underway. This will reduce corrosion which can cause lead in old pipes to leach into the water.
This plan is in addition to Mayor Walling’s letter requesting $30 Million in water infrastructure assistance funding from the State of Michigan. $10 Million of that request would be for the replacement of lead service lines in households to ensure that lead no longer presents a danger to the drinking water of our residents. As the letter states, “It is the City’s position that the abatement of lead through the removal of lead containing pipes and fixtures in homes is the best long term solution to keeping our residents’ water safe.”
Mayor Walling further stated: “I am extremely concerned about the risks around lead with Flint’s children and I will be working tirelessly to ensure the water is safe and all of our families have the information they need. I also will continue to pursue funding for infrastructure improvements and a comprehensive healthy homes initiative that addresses lead in paint and pipes. We have to get the lead out of our community to eliminate the threat of childhood lead poisoning.”
The City of Flint continues working proactively with the County Health Department, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to improve the water system throughout the City. The City remains committed to working with all of our partners in the Water Technical Advisory Committee to address all issues of public health and quality concerns that face the community. Updates on progress made in addressing this issue will be made during regular public meetings including City Council and other scheduled meetings. Information on this and all related matters will continue to be posted on the City of Flint’s website, cityofflint.com.