Erin Brockovich investigator expected to speak at two events in Flint

By Ron Fonger |
This article originally appeared on MLive.
February 13, 2015

FLINT, MI — A water quality expert who has spent years working with environmentalist Erin Brockovich is expected to speak at two events in Flint Saturday, Feb. 14.

Robert W. Bowcock, founder of Integrated Resource Management, met with Mayor Dayne Walling, Councilman Wantwaz Davis and others Friday, Feb. 13.

Bowcock said earlier this week that he believes small treatment and distribution adjustments could help fix some of Flint’s water quality problems. He toured the city’s water treatment plant Friday.

Walling declined to comment on his conversation with Bowcock, but city Councilman Eric Mays said he is anxious to hear his assessment and recommendations.

Davis said Bowcock was straightforward in giving his opinion that the city can cut back on some of the chemicals being used to treat water.

City spokesman Jason Lorenz issued a statement, saying, “The city of Flint honored a request for a tour of its water treatment plant submitted by Mr. Bowcock, as it has done with individuals and groups in the past.

“(Director of Public Works) Director Howard Croft and F-1 Licensed Treatment Operator Mike Glasgow guided the tour and answered all of Mr. Bowcock’s questions. Tours of the Water Treatment Plant can be arranged by appointment for interested groups by calling 810-787-6537.”

Bowcock is scheduled to join in a march for water quality through downtown Flint, which is planned to begin at 1 p.m. Saturday at Flint City Hall, 1101 S. Saginaw St., and end at The Durant.

Bowcock is also scheduled to speak at a forum at the Saints of God Church, 2200 Forest Hill Ave., Flint, from 3-4:15 p.m.

Brockovich, portrayed by Julia Roberts in a 2000 movie about her fight over the pollution of a California town, has been speaking out on Facebook about Flint’s water issues for several weeks.

Today, she posted a photo of Bowcock, Davis and march organizer Melissa Mays inside the Flint water plant, saying she was “so honored this community would seek my help … and I am glad I could send Bob to get it done.”

In addition to customer complaints about the price and quality of the water, there were several boil water advisories in Flint in 2014 and the city was found in violation of the Safe Drinking Water Act for excess total trihalomethanes in the water supply last year.

The city began using the Flint River as its source of drinking water in April after 50 years of handling only the distribution of already-treated Lake Huron water purchased from the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department.

Since that time, some citizens and members of the City Council have advocated abandoning the use of the river and purchasing lake water from the Detroit until the Karegnondi Water Authority pipeline is complete.

The city and Genesee County are partners in the KWA.

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