SS2 The Flint Water Crisis  What Happened and Lessons Learned

Wednesday, August 3, 2016: 8:30 AM-10:00 AM
220-221 (America's Center - St. Louis)
Primary Contact: Mark Moorman
Organizers: Renee Boyer and Mark Moorman
Convenors: Renee Boyer and Mark Moorman
In order to reduce costs, the city of Flint, MI in April 2014 switched their source of municipal water from water treated by the city of Detroit to untreated water sourced from the Flint river.  Complaints from residents of poor water color, taste and odor began immediately after the switch.  While authorities communicated this was a quality issue related to the change in water source it was determined that elevated blood lead levels in infants and children nearly doubled following the switch to the Flint river.  After confirming elevated lead levels in water tested from homes of Flint residents it was determined orthophosate was not added to treat the flint river water.  The river water was more caustic, containing a high concentration of chloride, which corroded the pipes resulting in leaching of lead into the drinking water.  In January, 2016 the Governor of the State of Michigan declared the Flint Country (Genesee) to be in a state of emergency.  This symposium will hear from a researcher from the Virginia Tech laboratory that has been central to discovering the lead contamination as well as the perspective from State of Michigan.  We’ll also hear about the risk of lead contamination due to our national aging infrastructure


8:30 AM
The Flint Water Crisis An Overview
Joyce Zhu, Virginia Tech
9:00 AM
Flint Water and Public Health A Regulator's Perspective
Kevin Besey, State of Michigan, Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development
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