By Lee-Anne Walters
Lee-Anne Walters will be in contact weekly, to report back to Flint residents on Federal progress. If you send us questions, we will try to get/give answers and post them.
The EPA A+++ team is doing good science to better understand the nature of Flint’s water lead problem. They are doing sequential (multi) bottle sampling at many homes, using wide mouth bottles at 50 homes where the Flint-VT team found the highest lead results. It is believed that these homes have lead service lines. Nine homes have been sampled so far, and there should be a 1 week turn around on results.
In addition, EPA is now sampling at homes where residents have reported rashes; three homes are on this list and newer ones are being added. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is also involved in these efforts. They are looking at lead and heavy metals in their tests and are sampling from kitchen sinks and bathtubs/showers.
Chlorine monitoring is also being conducted in certain areas where maintaining chlorine residuals might be a problem within the water distribution system. Keeping chlorine levels high, is important to maintain low levels of harmful bacteria.
Townhomes, apartments and duplexes are also being added to the list.
Erring on the side of caution, EPA is testing homes with very high lead to make sure the filters are working as expected. EPA has initiated testing the existing filters in place as well as looking at lead levels by changing to new filters to see if the levels are at. Three homes were tested on January 29, 2016. Efforts on this are top priority, they were set out same day as the test and testing to start January 30, 2016. Additional homes were scheduled for testing on January 30, 2016. We will update when we have results.
EPA and CDC are currently working together and have initiated a public outreach effort, primarily a door to door campaign. This effort will help educate residents about routine maintenance of aerators, making sure people have and are using filters, checking service life of the filters, review water data for the home, try to see what the internal service line is made of (i.e., lead, copper, galvanized), and offering sequential water sampling tests to homeowners.