Federal officials say filtered water is safe to drink in Flint

An investigation conducted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the CDC has found water filters distributed by the state of Michigan successfully reduced lead levels to well below the EPA's action level of 15 parts per billion in Flint, Mich.

Between 2014 to 2015, 91 cases of Legionnaire's disease were reported in association with Flint's switch from Detroit's water system to the Flint River. In the ensuing months, thousands of incidents of lead poisoning in children were reported, along with a number of other health issues linked to the water.

In response to the crisis, federal officials collected samples over the course of two months at nearly 50 locations with a high risk for lead contamination and where the most vulnerable populations live. They filtered the samples using filters provided to Michigan residents. According to the results of the tests, which were released Thursday, close to all the water samples came back at concentrations well below 1 ppb.

"These findings reaffirm the effectiveness of filters at removing or reducing lead. This is an important step forward for providing a stable water system for the City of Flint," said Tom Burke, science advisor and deputy assistant administrator for the EPA Office of Research and Development. "Residents can be confident that EPA's sampling results correspond with previous tests and are consistent with outside experts' findings."

Despite the announcement, not all Flint residents will be switching back from bottled water to tap water so soon. Flint Mayor Karen Weaver points out some homes have faucets that aren't compatible with the filters provided, according to Reuters.

"This is not the ultimate solution," Ms. Weaver said in a statement. "We still need new infrastructure, replacing the lead-tainted pipes in the city remains my top priority."

 

 

More articles on contaminated water:
Lead discovered in Miami Valley Hospital water
Legionella found lurking in Allegheny General's water tanks
Mich. expands Medicaid eligibility for Flint water exposure

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