The City of Flint is notifying its residents about a new drinking water violation. In the big scheme of things, this drinking water violation isn't major. But because of the Flint Water Crisis, it’s getting noticed by residents.
Since the crisis, state regulators have kept a really close eye on Flint’s water system. Flint has to collect water samples more frequently than most Michigan cities and has a more vigorous process of verifying that the homes it’s testing actually have lead water pipes.
But the city is also at the tail end of the process of replacing all of its lead service lines. A city spokeswoman says Flint has replaced 9,500 lead service lines so far. That means there are fewer homes that meet the testing criteria.
Flint had until New Year’s Eve to find 60 homes with lead water lines to collect samples from. State regulators extended that deadline to mid-February, at the city’s request.
City workers were just 11 homes short of that target during the last sampling round. While issuing the violation, state regulators still applauded the city’s effort.
“EGLE recognizes the City put forth a significant effort, despite an administration change near the end of the monitoring period, to obtain the requisite samples and applauds Mayor Neeley's door-to-door efforts to get resident participation,” Eric Oswald, Director of the Drinking Water and Environmental Health Division, wrote the city.
These samples help determine whether Flint is still meeting federal standards for lead in drinking water. The city’s lead levels have remained below the federal limit for lead in drinking water for some time.