MDEQ director: Filters work, but we're not sure with lead in exc - WNEM TV 5

MDEQ director: Filters work, but we're not sure with lead in excess of 150 ppb

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Keith Creagh is the director of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. He answered TV5’s tough questions on water filters.

"Filters do work generally," Creagh said.

The performance of water filters back in the spotlight after the agency received 42 testing samples of high lead in Flint’s water. Some homes tested well above the NSF standard for filters of 150 ppb. Some as high as 4,000 ppb.

Creagh said he's not sure if the filters work with levels higher than 150 ppb. That's why he's cautioning those residents in effected homes to act accordingly.

"Stay on bottled water. And make sure that you call us we'll come back out and test," Creagh said.

Creagh said those 42 high lead samples are only a fraction of the 5,300 samples taken, which is why Creagh urges everyone to keep using filters.

While there are some who are wary of the filters, folks are still stopping by distribution centers to get filters.

Cpl. Jack King of the Michigan National Guard said the filters will work better if people use them correctly.

"The filter has recommended not to run hot water through it. Yet we have a lot of residents coming through and tell us they still run hot water through it," King said.

King said hot water isn't the only problem. People are also complaining of little black dots in the water.

"That's actually charcoal that you're supposed to let the filter run for five minutes before you even use it," King said.

Creagh said in most cases the filters will work. He also said his department won't stop until they get a handle on the water crisis.

"All residents in Flint need and deserve safe drinking water. That's the bottom line," Creagh said.

>>READ MORE: Pregnant women, children told not to use tap water unless tested<<

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