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New state tests show Flint's water within federal lead action levels

 Extended Sentinel Site Testing for Flint
Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ)
The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality says new data shows the level of lead in Flint water now meets federal standards.

New tests show lead levels in Flints water are back within federal standards.

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality says the new data shows more than 96% of the samples are at or below the 15 parts per billion (ppb) federal lead action level. It’s the sixth round of sentinel testing that has produced results within the federal lead action level.

The MDEQ’s results come after new independent testing by researchers from Virginia Tech University, which also showed improvement in Flint’s lead tainted tap water.

The state’s environmental regulators announced today Flint’s water now “easily meets the federal standards for lead.”

“This latest round of tests is a clear indication of the continued improvement in the Flint water system, and encouraging news for everyone working to help the people of Flint move forward,” says Gov. Rick Snyder. 

Flint’s drinking water became contaminated after the city’s water source was switched to the Flint River in 2014. The water was not properly treated. The highly corrosive water damaged city pipes, which started leeching lead. The city’s water source was switched back to Detroit in late 2015. 

Officials with the MDEQ will meet with federal officials and scientists next month in Chicago to compare data and figure out next steps to resolve the water crisis.

Despite the latest results, the state is still telling people in Flint to use certified filters while lead service lines are being replaced. 

Lindsey Smith helps lead the station's Enterprise Team. She previously served as Michigan Radio’s Morning News Editor, Investigative Reporter and West Michigan Reporter.
Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Radio since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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