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News Releases from Region 05

EPA Flint Drinking Water Response Activities - Update 1/26/16

Contact Information: 
Peter Cassell (cassell.peter@epa.gov)

For Immediate Release

FLINT, MICH. (Jan. 26, 2016) An EPA team of sampling experts collected chlorine samples at locations throughout the city of Flint drinking water system, with a focus on locations that would be the most likely to have lower chlorine levels. The results of the EPA sampling show that chlorine is present in the system, with levels in some areas of the system that could be improved. At the site with the lowest chlorine level, EPA also collected and analyzed a sample for bacteria. The test showed that no bacteria (coliform and E. coli) was present. EPA will continue to collect samples to ensure that chlorine concentrations in the system are sufficient to protect the residents of Flint.

EPA teams are preparing to collect samples to confirm that lead is being removed by water filters. EPA will then collect drinking water samples with Flint residents to better understand the types of plumbing materials that are of greatest concern for lead in the city's drinking water and to ensure that corrosion control is being restored in the drinking water system.

Water samples will be collected by residents in coordination with EPA and MDEQ using wide-mouth bottles, as recommended by EPA's Flint Lead Task Force. Using wide-mouth bottles will allow collectors to simulate conditions similar to when residents fill a glass of water with their faucet fully open. These bottles will also help to ensure that all the lead that is present in drinking water is captured in the sample.

After the samples are collected, they will be sent to an EPA independent laboratory for analysis and the quality assured results of all the samples collected by EPA will be shared with individual homeowners and will be posted on EPA's website at: www.epa.gov/flint. EPA will ensure removal of any personal information from the quality assured results and will post data as soon as it becomes available to EPA. Quality assured results are typically available in less than 30 days.

EPA recommends that residents continue to use filters or drink bottled water and if necessary, contact their local health provider to have themselves or their children tested for lead. EPA will continue to work with the City of Flint to monitor drinking water quality and to ensure the public is receiving up to date information.