Pipe Corrosion Lead to Elevated Lead Levels in Flint

download (36)Earlier this month, we discussed the water quality issues that residents of Flint, Michigan were facing. It turns out that the situation is much more dire than it first appeared. The elevated levels of lead that were found in the water were also showing up in the bloodstreams of the city’s school children.

Because of this, the State of Michigan removed its top official in charge of water and admitted that they had failed to control corrosion in the city’s water pipes, which were the cause for the high lead levels.

The city’s staff employed a federal protocol they believed was appropriate. Unfortunately, according to Dan Wyant, director of the Michigan Department of Water Quality, that protocol wasn’t adequate to address the situation. Michigan’s Governor, Rick Snyder, has called for a review of the situation by a third party.

“We do not know whether the misapplication of federal rules was intentional or due to negligence. That’s why the Legislature needs to have a robust role in any investigation, and in ensuring those responsible for Flint’s water crisis are held accountable,” he said.

However, some in the state legislature such as Michigan Senate Minority Leader, Jim Ananich (D-Flint), argues that both the State and the EPA put their own interests ahead of those of the citizens of Flint.

Up until last year, the city of Flint was getting its water from Detroit Water and Sewage Department. The City of Detroit has been using phosphates to treat the issue of water corrosion in its pipes to ensure “optimized corrosion control,” as is called for by federal guidelines.

When the city of Flint opted to leave Detroit’s water and sewer system and began using its own backup water source from the Flint River, they never added phosphates. A water quality study conducted by Virginia Tech found that water from the Flint River was 19 times more corrosive than water previously obtained from Detroit.

The decision to use river water was a temporary solution. The city was waiting until the Karegnondi Water Authority completed a pipeline that would transport water from Lake Huron and send it to Flint.

Everyone depends on clean drinking water. Federal guidelines exist to help ensure water quality today and into the future. If you are the person who is responsible for meeting and maintaining the water quality goals for your community, you know how important your job is. At Metro Water Filter, our experts can help you ensure the level of water quality your city or business depends upon. Contact our offices today to schedule a meeting with one of our water quality experts.

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