Experts present new data on Flint water quality - WNEM TV 5

Experts present new data on Flint water quality

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Source: WNEM Source: WNEM
FLINT, MI (WNEM/AP) -

Virginia Tech's Dr. Marc Edwards offered what he believes is scientific proof Flint's water is improving.

He believes the combination of the ongoing flushing campaign and corrosion control of the city's pipes is getting residents closer to clean unfiltered and drinkable water.

He also said the costly replacement of many underground pipes is inevitable.

"Corrosion control is necessary even after the lead pipes are replaced, but we still need to get those lead pipes out of the ground because if we don't do it now it's gonna be there to harm our children’s children,” Edwards said.

Without a full-scale pipe replacement project, Edwards fears generations of residents could be at risk of contaminated water.

He was joined Tuesday by several leading water experts from Wayne State and the University of Massachusetts.

Together they diluted various claims that Flint's water is far more polluted today than it was when the switch was made back to the Detroit water.

Edwards agreed trust is a major factor in winning over the confidence of people drinking from their taps again.

“You just don't know for sure,” he said. “If we can't trust people to protect Flint residents, where can we trust?”

Virginia Tech Professor Amy Pruden said the threat of legionnaire's disease in Flint has also went down.

"The number of taps that tested positive for legionella also went down," Pruden said.

Cases of the deadly disease had been on the way up in recent months following the discovery of lead tainted water in the city. There was no definitive link between the water problem and the illness, but many concluded one led to the other.

Although there are positive signs in the latest test results, Pruden is concerned about the coming months ahead.

"We are moving into summer months. Summer time is more common for legionnaire's disease to occur and so it's important to think about how we can keep this legionella numbers down," Pruden said.

A big way to reduce the stagnant water is to properly apply corrosion control to the water, experts said. They also said flushing the pipes works for fighting off the disease.

"It's going to deliver freshly treated water with the chlorine to keep the legionella at bay," Pruden said.

Edwards tried to boost residents' confidence that tap water might be safe to drink soon, but he said it's gonna take time.

"I think everyone recognizes and even the president said that this is gonna take a couple of years to do it and do it right," Edwards said.

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