Officials: Pregnant, young residents told not to use tap water u - WNEM TV 5

Officials: Pregnant, young residents told not to use tap water unless tested

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FLINT, MI (WNEM) -

Testing from the U.S. Department of Environmental Quality found 26 sites across the city when lead readings of 150 ppb or more of lead, which is 10 times the federal action limit.

During a press conference on Jan. 29, officials said they had discovered at least one home with lead levels above 4,000 ppb.

The NSF certified filters are able to reduce 99.3 percent of lead from water that has 150 ppb. 

"I want to stress, this does not mean we think there is a problem with the filters," said Dr. Nicole Lurie, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. "In fact, everything we know tells us they are performing well. But this does mean we need to do additional testing in homes testing about 150 ppb to be sure. In other words: we've got to double-check this." 

Health officials have samples from 3,972 homes across the city of Flint. Of those, according to EPA engineer, Mark Durno, 26 residences had lead levels above the filter limits. 

"The samples we are going to collect are being collected with the filter in place," Durno said. "The primary purpose of the testing we are doing is to make sure the water that is coming through the filter is safe to drink."

As a result, officials said women who are pregnant and children should not drink filtered tap water until their water has been tested.

The new MDEQ director, Keith Creagh said though foreboding, the press conference on Friday signaled good news because people are testing.

"93.8 percent was below 15 ppb, so that's good news. Almost 85 percent were under 5 ppb," Creagh said.

The 26 homes with lead levels at 150 ppb and higher represent less than one percent. 

"But that one percent is important. Because if it was your child or my child, that would not be acceptable," Creagh said. "So we have to solve that problem."

The health officials want to test water at all 56,000 properties in the city. Creagh said 5,200 lead service lines had been discovered out of the 27,000 parcels in the city they know about. But they don't have information on 25,000 parcels in the city.

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