The city of Flint celebrated the beginning of the first phase of installation for a new water filter system today.
The $1.6 million dollar granulated carbon filter is expected to contribute significantly to reducing the formation of trihalomethanes (TTHM). This odorless pollutant is usually formed as a byproduct when chlorine is used to disinfect drinking water. The trouble is that lengthy exposure to TTHM – drinking about two liters a day for approximately 70 years – can lead to cancer.
While recent testing has indicated that Flint’s drinking water is meeting regulatory safety standards, the new filter is expected to improve upon the trend. Jason Lorenz is Flint’s public information officer. He explained that the city has been under maximum contamination levels at all sampling sites in the last two quarters of testing.
Lorenz expects this progress to continue as the city prepares to switch its water source from the Flint River to Lake Huron. In the meantime, Lorenz says the idea behind the carbon filter is to “lower the total organic compound” while the drinking water source is still the Flint River. “It’s not expected that we’ll need it too much when we use [Lake Huron],” he said.
Lorenz is confident that the new filter will help the city meet the expectation of clean drinking water in Flint.