With lead levels below 6 ppb, officials are considering cutting funding for bottled water distribution
On Jan. 12, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) announced that 90% of 134 municipal water samples in Flint, Mich., were at or below 6 ppb of lead, less than half the federal standard according to the Lead and Copper Rule.
“For 18 months, data has shown that Flint’s water quality is restored and testing is the same or better than many cities across the state and country,” said Keith Creagh, director of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
With lead levels testing well below the federal standard, bottled water distribution could potentially be cut. In December 2017, Rich Baird, senior advisor to Gov. Rick Snyder, said that if water quality tests taken that month were equal to or better than earlier test results the government would stop funding bottled water distribution in January.
However, Flint Mayor Karen Weaver disagreed with Baird’s recommendation arguing that she wouldn’t support water distribution sites to close until the medical community echoed the state’s opinion. Despite the improvements, many Flint residents remain wary of tap water. The MDEQ announcement did not specify if the state would continue to fund the bottled water distribution following the recent positive water quality test results.