Mayor speaks out on EPA warning about possible danger to water s - WNEM TV 5

Mayor speaks out on EPA warning about possible danger to water system

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

The Environmental Protection Agency recently said hotter weather will bring a potential new danger to Flint's tap water. 

In a warning issued to Michigan's Department of Environmental Quality, the EPA said Flint's water system may not be able to distribute chlorine properly, calling the situation "urgent."

The agency said action should be taken by Friday to resolve the issue. 

But during a press conference with Flint Mayor Karen Weaver and her staff Tuesday morning the June 10 date was called a "target date", but not a mandated one to have the systems in place to add additional chemicals if needed.

Mayor Weaver says the concern over chlorine levels traces back to the shrinking population of the city. Despite fewer people using the water system, the system has remained the same, and because of that water doesn't move like it should. Weaver said that the recent flushing program doesn't solve the problem.

Officials are worried that boosting chlorine levels in the water supply could eat away at the protective coatings in the pipes.

"The greatest concern is that we will undo the progress that we've made thus far. So in establishing the layer, the protective coating within our lines. If for those areas that are already performing well; if we then go ahead and boost the PH and we boost the chlorine in those areas of the distribution system, the possibility exists that what has been regarded to as this chloride to sulfate ratio may then become a little more out of alignment," said JoLisa McDay, the Interim Utilities Administrator.

One move to help with the potential issue is to lower the reservoir levels, allowing the water to turn over at a quicker rate.

The EPA does say that the water does meet current requirements. The agency also wants the city to add caustic soda to the water supply.

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