As of Wednesday, the people of Flint, Mich., have gone 1,518 days without a clean and stable water system in their city. The latest preliminary testing results show that the lead levels in the water have remained unchanged from the last six months of 2017, and the state has given notice that it is handing the responsibility for water testing back to the city.
MLive reports that the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality notified Flint Department of Public Works Director Robert Binscik in a June 14 letter that the city would now be responsible for Lead and Copper Rule testing. The state had been assisting the city with testing since January 2016.
“As of July 1, 2018, it is expected that the city resume complete responsibility for monitoring its water system for lead and copper,” DEQ Drinking Water and Municipal Assistance Director Eric Oswald wrote in the letter.
The city will also be responsible for meeting the testing requirements outlined in a settlement agreement with the Concerned Pastors for Social Action, which say that once all lead and galvanized service lines are replaced, the city has to collect one-half of its LRC samples during the months of May, June, July and August. It is during those months when water quality is more difficult to maintain.
Oswald’s letter went out just one day before George Krisztian, an assistant director of DEQ’s Office of Drinking Water and Municipal Assistance, reported that Flint’s 90th percentile for lead was 6 parts per billion in the first six months of the year.
That number is higher since the state stopped the bottled-water deliveries to the city in April, when DEQ had that number reported as 4 ppb; the federal action level for lead is 15 ppb.