Water updates

Dear neighbors,

Many of you have been asking us for updates on the issue of lead in Flint’s water system after the county health department issued a water emergency in Flint.

Friday I attended the governor’s press conference on Flint water, and below I have included numerous media reports for background and information on the problem.

The governor has not ruled out going back to Detroit water, but the focus was on adding chemicals to reduce corrosion. It turns out federal law requires that a municipality test months in advance of a switch in water sources to check for corrosives, and the city and MDEQ failed to do so when we switched. The water leaving the plant passes lead tests, but after it goes through city lines, the apparently untreated corrosive Flint River water comes pouring out of our taps contaminated with lead, in some cases. The highest risk is in 48503 and 48504.

I recommend that you read Ron Fonger’s Mlive and Flint Journal reports and check the sidebar stories for background and details: http://www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.ssf/2015/10/governors_plan_for_flint_water.html

The press conference and the emergency declaration came on the heels of the NPR story on Oct. 1, 2015 on Cynthia Canty’s Stateside interview:
Who’s to blame for Flint’s water crisis? Virginia Tech researcher points the finger at MDEQ

At the press conference, the MDEQ (Michigan Dept. of Environmental Quality) issued a press packet, which includes info on who can obtain free water filters. You can find the Flint Drinking Water Action Plan with info sheets and testing information at

Please note this is not a boil water advisory! Boiling the unfiltered tap water actually raises the lead level. The Health and Safety Department at UM-Flint told me that people think lead is absorbed through the skin, and are avoiding showers, but that is not true. Please continue to bathe!

Dayne Walling told us filters will be made available as funds continue to come in and distribution networks are put in place. If you are able to purchase a filter, ensure that it is National Sanitation Foundation-certified (NSF 53) to filter lead. The Genesee County Health Department’s Water Filter hotline is available at 810-257-3158Click here to view the Genesee County Health Department’s Lead in Water Fact Sheet.

Jim Ananich said flintwaterinfo.com is a site that explains precautions people can take as well.

What follows are other resources to educate yourself about what has happened and what you can do to protect yourself, your family, your pets — and your wild bird bath.

Never thirst,
Sherry Hayden

Michiganradio.org Updated Oct. 2: Have you missed parts of the Flint water story? Here’s a quick rundown.

Virginia Tech Research Team – Flint Water Study website and blog

Sept. 29 NPR story:

Oct 3: Sierra Club Calls for Urgent Action, Probe of MDEQ in Flint Public Health Crisis

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