Flint in Violation of Safe Water Drinking Act

March 11, 2020

Flint has not done enough testing for lead and copper

According to a Mar. 3, 2020 letter from the Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE), Flint is in violation of the Safe Drinking Water Act.

This is because the city hasn't done enough testing for lead and copper in tap water, reported NBC 25 News.

The city is required to collect samples from 60 confirmed Tier 1 sites every six months and those samples must be tested for lead and copper. Tier 1 sites are homes with lead service lines.

According to EGLE, Flint sampled 123 sites and only 49 were Tier 1.

According to Flint Mayor Sheldon Neeley's office, the pool to pick Tier 1 samples has gotten smaller since the city has replaced 9,500 water lines and done 25,000 excavations. Many residents are not interested in sampling, reported NBC 25 News. Neeley went door-to-door to get residents to participate. 

"Sometimes residents don't allow you inside their homes to get tested," said Mayor Neeley. "Sometimes it's problematic when you go into a residential home and ask if you can test their water...sometimes they say no."

The city was out of compliance between the July and December 2019 monitoring period.

"We had to really engage this process and really hit the ground running, and we did some really good work," Neeley added. "I'm sure when we have a full cycle under this administration, that we will do much better."

To return to compliance, the city needs 60 samples from Tier 1 sites from January to June 2020 and the samples will need to be submitted to the Drinking Water and Environmental Health Division. 

According to Neeley, Flint is halfway there.

Read related content about drinking water in Flint, Michigan:

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