The Flint Water Crisis has been rolling for many years now. The  enquiry is continuing with new information coming available as to how an Entire towns water supply became undrinkable.

 Water Supply changed to save money

Detroit Water had supplied the water and had exceeded the EPA requirements for corrosion control for copper and lead pipes in 2014.  Detroit Water were well aware of the condition of water supply pipes in older houses and treated accordingly.  This water supply  was tested every four hours to ensure that appropriate anti bacterial, and importantly, anti-corrosion levels were correct
Water quality problems in Flint began when the City  switched from buying this treated drinking water from Detroit to treating Flint River water themselves using a city-owned treatment facility. It was meant to be an interim measure while alternative ( cheaper)  water supply was found
This decision has had far reaching consequences for the Citizens of Flint and the City Officials who ordered the change.   These included criminal charges of Involuntary Manslaughter. The court case it ongoing with new information and disclosures being revealed .

Corrosion Engineers Warned of the Dangers

Michael Glasgow,the former water utilities administrator for the city said last Thursday that the water treatment plant was not ready when it opened in April 2014 and he tried to warn two Michigan Department of Environmental Quality employees after he was rebuffed by city officials.

Glasgow said he had concerns about opening the treatment plant, such as the need for 90 to 180 days of continuous testing before it was ready. In April 16 and 17 email exchanges. Glasgow said lead and copper samplings had “been increasing dramatically.”

The full testimony is available on the Detroit News site with updates daily on the court proceedings

Flint water corrosion control is discussed on the Conversation .com  written by the Flint water research team at the University of Michigan

Lack of Corrosion in the lead pipes

The research team focused on the layer of metal scale—essentially lead rust—inside 10 lead service line samples from around Flint.
They studied the texture of the rust layer, as well as its chemical composition. Then they used their analysis to estimate that the average lead service line released 18 grams of lead during the 17 months that Flint river water (without corrosion control) flowed through the system…

Read more at the University of Michigan

Replacing the Pipes. One by One

The mayor of Flint says more than 6,200 water pipes have been replaced as the result of the city’s lead crisis.  The city and the state of Michigan agreed earlier this year to replace at least 18,000 lead or galvanized-steel water lines by 2020.


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