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News Releases from Region 05

EPA Statement on Flint Water Main Break, Boil Water Order

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FLINT, MICH. -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is working closely with the City of Flint and Michigan Department of Environmental Quality on the recent water main break and boil order. After the water transmission line broke on Feb. 9, EPA coordinated with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) and other members of the Flint Water Response Unified Coordination Group to determine what additional steps residents should take given the current issues with lead in drinking water.

Flint residents have been advised to either drink bottled water or to drink boiled water that has been already been filtered through an NSF-certified filter rated to remove lead. Use only bottled water for water, food and formula given to babies under 1 year old. Bottled water is the safest choice for pregnant or breastfeeding women and kids under 6 years of age.

The city has isolated the broken main, and following established protocols, has checked residual chlorine levels in the drinking water system and conducted two rounds of microbial testing. The first round of microbial testing found no contamination. If the second round is also clean, the city will lift the boil order, although residents should still drink only filtered or bottled water because of the ongoing lead issue.

Especially in winter, water main breaks are common in Flint and other cities with older infrastructure. When these breaks occur, cities follow established protocols to notify residents and to ensure the safety of drinking water.

For more information, please visit our website at: www.epa.gov/flint