As the Flint water crisis continues, the EPA has released preliminary water quality data about chlorine levels in Flint’s drinking water, as well as an interactive map of sampling results in the Michigan city.
The current data show estimated concentrations of chlorine present in over 30 locations throughout Flint, including private homes, churches, and community centers. Chlorine is used to disinfect drinking water systems and prevent the growth of viruses and bacteria such as E. coli. At appropriate levels, the presence of chlorine in drinking water systems is normal, the EPA says.
As additional data become available, the agency says it will post the sampling locations and data to the map.
The EPA’s chlorine sampling effort involves testing Flint’s drinking water for the presence of chlorine, with a focus on locations that are more likely to have lower chlorine levels. These include locations at the perimeter of the drinking water distribution system and where drinking water may be stagnant for a period of time before use.
At locations where chlorine is not detected, EPA does follow-up testing for microbial contamination.
The EPA is also sampling drinking water in households with known lead levels of 100 parts per billion or higher, to test the effectiveness of filters at removing lead at high concentrations. Michigan state officials are distributing NSF-International certified lead-removal filters to residents.
The agency says it will post lead-level data as soon as it is available.
In other news related to the Flint water crisis, local environmental company Young’s Environmental Cleanup has partnered with Averill Recycling and Great Lakes Recycling of Flint to recycle empty plastic bottles as water donations pour into Flint, Michigan Radio reports. Companies including Walmart, Coca-Cola, Nestlé and PepsiCo have donated truckloads of water to help Flint residents affected by the drinking water crisis.
The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality will today present a comprehensive testing plan for Flint water to federal officials, the Detroit Free Press reports. The plan will monitoring hundreds of new sites around the city and mapping all of the system’s lead piping that leached toxic metals into the city’s drinking water supply.
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