One thousand, four hundred and forty days. As of Tuesday, it has been 1,440 days since the residents of Flint, Mich., have had clean, safe water traveling through their pipes. In exactly three weeks, we will hit the four-year mark since the lead-contaminated-water crisis started. As of today, residents are still being told to use water filters or bottled water for their needs.
While the water may no longer be coming out of the Flint River, it is still not completely safe in homes and throughout the city—including in the Flint Community Schools.
MLive reports that what is expected to be the last round of state-sponsored testing for lead in water in school buildings was conducted last month, and according to the results published by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, more than 4 percent of the water samples collected had elevated levels of lead.
At the same time, the state will soon decide whether to continue free bottled-water distribution throughout the city of Flint.
Fortunately, Flint Community Schools has separate agreements with companies to cover the supply of bottled water for its campuses through the end of the school year.
The state is doing a review of the overall quality of the water in Flint, and that will help it decide whether to continue the water-distribution program currently in place.
While each of the 10 buildings in the school district had at least one instance of water with at least 15 parts per billion of lead, one elementary school has continued to register high at multiple test sites—including three samples that registered at more than 100 ppb of lead, which is more than six times the federal action limit.
Flint Mayor Karen Weaver believes that the bottled-water distribution should be continued until all lead and galvanized service lines have been removed in the city, something MLive reports could take the next two construction seasons to complete.
According to a previous report by MLive, the state spends an average of $22,000 per day providing bottled-water delivery in the city of Flint.