State of emergency in Flint, MI due to high lead-in-tapwater

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State of emergency in Flint, MI due to high lead-in-tapwater

Post by sheddi » Thu Jan 07, 2016 2:39 pm

Last year it was trihalomethanes:
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=115952

This year it looks to be lead. (Sorry but none of the articles below provide much in the way of quantifying the problem; can anyone find any hard figures on how far over the drinking water limits the lead is?)

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/12/s ... 52041.html
The US state of Michigan has declared a state of emergency in the city of Flint after its water supply was poisoned by toxic lead, leading to severe illnesses among its 100,000 residents with children suffering the worst.

Flint's mayor has described the situation as a "man-made disaster" over the past 18 months after the impoverished American city stopped receiving its water supply from the nearby Detroit because of unaffordable price rises in water rates.

Sean Kammer, an assistant to Flint's administrator, told Al Jazeera that the city "is in the process of turning a corner" as its administration seeks funds to revamp its antiquated water infrastructure, which played a major part in the lead poisonings.

The city administration has tried to provide water filters to all of Flint's 30,000 households and potable water to its schools.

After Detroit raised its rates in March, Flint started sourcing its water locally from the Flint River. However, the nature of its water caused the old pipelines to corrode.

The toxic, lead-filled mixture was consumed in most homes, causing severe and irreversible health damage to many children.

David Murray, press secretary for Michigan's Governor Rick Snyder, told Al Jazeera the state administration had been "working closely with the city to focus on health issues affecting children and other city residents, and address water infrastructure challenges".

"The state also has offered more than $10 million in grants and other financial assistance to cover part of the payment for the temporary switch to the Great Lakes Water Authority until Flint's new water source is ready to go online, as well as efforts to improve existing city water infrastructure and purchase water filters for residents," Murray said.

However, residents say the state's efforts came too late and they accuse the administration of ignoring public concerns over the tainted-water crisis since it started.
See also:
http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015 ... ly-debacle
Michigan governor Rick Snyder apologized on Tuesday for the debacle that caused the city of Flint’s water supply to be poisoned by lead, while the top state environment official resigned in light of a report that chiefly placed the blame for the crisis on his department.

The resignation was the latest in the crisis that has consumed the city of 100,000, as local doctors have warned in recent weeks that contaminated drinking water flowing from household taps may have affected more residents than originally thought.
And:
http://jezebel.com/michigan-governor-de ... 1751228863
In Michigan, Governor Rick Snyder has declared a state of emergency regarding the water crisis in Flint, Michigan where, due to deliberately careless resource management, the number of kids with dangerous levels of lead in their blood doubled in 2015.

Sender’s announcement follows Flint Mayor Karen Weaver’s state of emergency declaration: she called the lead poisoning crisis a “manmade disaster” in December. In 2014, Flint changed its water source from Detroit’s mess of a water system to the nearby Flint River to save money. By April, residents began complaining of cloudy, foul-smelling water, but were assured by local authorities that the water was fine. It wasn’t.
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Re: State of emergency in Flint, MI due to high lead-in-tapw

Post by raptor » Thu Jan 07, 2016 2:47 pm

This negligence IMO borders on criminal.

There were criminal charges filed against employees in a water treatment facility in a local LA case for falsification of records related false test reports being filed.


http://www.wdsu.com/news/local-news/new ... n/29239256

The trihalomethane issue is not as bad as lead in the water. The THCs above a certain level are by no means ok or safe, but lead is a more significant toxin.

THCs are produced by chlorinating the water and only in 2012 and 2013 has the EPA stage 2 compliance come into full force and effect with its reporting requirements. As a consequence the municipalities that do not meet these stage requirements are reporting their noncompliance a lot more than previously.


http://nepis.epa.gov/Exe/ZyNET.exe/P100 ... e=x&ZyPURL


Lead contamination in water on the other hand has been a well known and documented problem for many decades. In fact written advisories have been common since 1978.

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Re: State of emergency in Flint, MI due to high lead-in-tapw

Post by majorhavoc » Thu Jan 07, 2016 3:51 pm

Stating the obvious/preaching to the choir here, but this all-too-frequent occurrence (in this country at least) highlights the need to have high quality, high capacity water filtration as part of your standard disaster/emergency preps.

Storing treated water isn't enough. The contamination issues may pre-date your storage preps and as far as I know, water purification tablets or iodine/chlorine drops do not remove lead.

And that rain barrel I've been considering is starting to look like a pretty good idea right now ... :ohdear:

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Re: State of emergency in Flint, MI due to high lead-in-tapw

Post by raptor » Tue Jan 12, 2016 12:10 am

A simple activated carbon water filter will deal with lead quite effectively if you are dealing with Flint MI lead levels.


This $20 filter will work quite well for about 150 to 200 gallons of drinking water if you are in the Flint MI area.
http://smile.amazon.com/Culligan-FM-25- ... AY5A8GJKXS

Link to manual that shows filtration performance:
http://www.culligan-store.com/pdfs/FM15 ... Manual.pdf

Note last page shows this filter removes on average 98% of the lead in water at high and low ph levels.

In fact an activated carbon water filter will effectively deal with a lot of issues in water.
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Re: State of emergency in Flint, MI due to high lead-in-tapw

Post by TacAir » Tue Jan 12, 2016 12:37 am

None of this from a US sourced "news" outlet?
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Re: State of emergency in Flint, MI due to high lead-in-tapw

Post by ZombieGranny » Tue Jan 12, 2016 12:49 am

CBS had the story last October...
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/water-crisi ... emergency/
Flint is asking for federal help now.
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Re: State of emergency in Flint, MI due to high lead-in-tapw

Post by KYZHunters » Tue Jan 12, 2016 6:52 am

One reporter for the Detroit Free Press should get the credit for being relentless on this story for almost a year. Here's an autopsy on the story http://www.freep.com/story/news/columni ... /78510122/

The story is being spun pretty hard by the state right now, but the thing to bear in mind is that management of Flint is in the hands of an Emergency Manager appointed by the governor not the elected city council and mayor. Flint didn't decide to switch its water supply the state did. State officials have been ignoring EPA warnings for almost a year and took no action until the Mayor declared a state of emergency and the story got national attention.
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Re: State of emergency in Flint, MI due to high lead-in-tapw

Post by raptor » Tue Jan 12, 2016 10:53 am

KYZHunters wrote: The story is being spun pretty hard by the state right now, but the thing to bear in mind is that management of Flint is in the hands of an Emergency Manager appointed by the governor not the elected city council and mayor. Flint didn't decide to switch its water supply the state did. State officials have been ignoring EPA warnings for almost a year and took no action until the Mayor declared a state of emergency and the story got national attention.
Lets not get into the politics of it.

I think the key take away is that the water purification infrastructure in Flint is old and has lead in parts of it and that when the water source was changed, there are now significant problems. Many of us live in areas where the water infrastructure is old and subject to any number of failures.

IMO Major havoc said key take away best.
majorhavoc wrote:Stating the obvious/preaching to the choir here, but this all-too-frequent occurrence (in this country at least) highlights the need to have high quality, high capacity water filtration as part of your standard disaster/emergency preps.
In my area this past year we had three instances of "boil water" advisories for a city of 500,000.

A simple and inexpensive activated carbon filter will do a lot to reduce many issues with municipal water quality issues. Granted they are not designed with the PAW in mind but for treated municipal water supply issues they are helpful and inexpensive tools to have handy whether it is lead in the water or as in our case ameobas in the water supply.

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Re: State of emergency in Flint, MI due to high lead-in-tapw

Post by Ad'lan » Tue Jan 12, 2016 11:47 am

raptor wrote:
KYZHunters wrote: The story is being spun pretty hard by the state right now, but the thing to bear in mind is that management of Flint is in the hands of an Emergency Manager appointed by the governor not the elected city council and mayor. Flint didn't decide to switch its water supply the state did. State officials have been ignoring EPA warnings for almost a year and took no action until the Mayor declared a state of emergency and the story got national attention.
Lets not get into the politics of it.

I think the key take away is that the water purification infrastructure in Flint is old and has lead in parts of it and that when the water source was changed, there are now significant problems. Many of us live in areas where the water infrastructure is old and subject to any number of failures.

IMO Major havoc said key take away best.
majorhavoc wrote:Stating the obvious/preaching to the choir here, but this all-too-frequent occurrence (in this country at least) highlights the need to have high quality, high capacity water filtration as part of your standard disaster/emergency preps.
In my area this past year we had three instances of "boil water" advisories for a city of 500,000.

A simple and inexpensive activated carbon filter will do a lot to reduce many issues with municipal water quality issues. Granted they are not designed with the PAW in mind but for treated municipal water supply issues they are helpful and inexpensive tools to have handy whether it is lead in the water or as in our case ameobas in the water supply.
I was going to post about how heavy metal contamination was not significantly removed by activated carbon, but a swift goodle found this Abstract:
A point-of-use (POU) granular activated carbon (GAC) fixed bed adsorber (FBA) was evaluated for reduction of soluble and insoluble lead from drinking water. Some of the factors which affect lead removal by GAC were evaluated, such as carbon type, solution pH, and a limited amount of work on competitive interactions. The design criteria for lead reduction by a POU device are also addressed. Minicolumns were used to evaluate the capacity of carbon for lead under a variety of conditions. The importance of surface chemistry of the carbon and the relationship with the pH of the water for lead reduction was demonstrated. Results indicate that a properly designed POU-GAC-FBA can reduce lead in drinking water to below the EPA action level of 15 ppb while being tested under a variety of conditions as specified under the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) International Standard 53 test protocol.
(Article here, behind a pay wall).

So I read a little further and found a nice free article by two students trying to make use of activated carbon in PAW like conditions (okay, Egypt, close enough). Mohamed El Zayat and Edward Smith did successfully remove lead from water (and other heavy metal contaminants) using activated carbon. But they also did it at different pH's and over a three day reaction time. I've been poking through the data, and I think I would redesign several of their experiments to gather more data, but especially under acidic conditions, Activated carbon really helped.

So, I won't say that activated carbon won't help remove lead. It will. But I don't think, unless your filter is especially designed to do so, that it will help significantly.

Of course, as my old Chemistry master was fond of reminding us "It's all Envirofacism, Lead only affects children, and I'm not a child any more".

I wonder if this lead dose will be detectable as a spike in crime and aggressive behavior ten-twenty years down the line?
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Re: State of emergency in Flint, MI due to high lead-in-tapw

Post by raptor » Tue Jan 12, 2016 1:23 pm

There are many types of water filters offered. Some use AC as the primary medium, some have just enough to improve the taste of the water. Some use other technology like a ceramic medium. Some filters just use it as polishing media to reduce chlorine in the water

Just as there are many types of filters there are also many types of activated carbon. They make different grades of AC for specific uses. The activated carbon that is used to control mercury emissions at power plants is less effective for water filtration. Whereas AC for water filtration is likewise less effective for mercury control.

That said AC filters can be very useful to reduce lead and other contaminants in water down to acceptable levels.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16019141

This is a the group that certifies water filters for effectiveness in the US. They will certify a filter as effective for lead removal. The box will show "NSF/ANSI Standard 53" which shows that it is certified to remove lead.

http://www.nsf.org/consumer-resources/h ... ing-water/

http://depts.washington.edu/pehsu/sites ... 202013.pdf

http://www.nsf.org/services/by-industry ... -standards
NSF/ANSI 53 establishes the minimum requirements for the certification of POU/POE filtration systems designed to reduce specific health-related contaminants, such as Cryptosporidium, Giardia, lead, volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) and MTBE (methyl tertiary-butyl ether), that may be present in public or private drinking water.
Are there other choices? Absolutely. There are many other brands and other technologies. A reverse osmosis system for instance removes many contaminants including lead and salts. But they typically costs more than $20 that these faucet type filters cost.

My point was that simple and cheap preparation for this type of problem was available as an alternative to a very expensive (albeit far more capable filter like a Berkley filter) water filter. There are good reasons to have a more capable filter but a limited budget could still provide an effective means of filtration as a preparation.
Last edited by raptor on Tue Jan 12, 2016 5:19 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: State of emergency in Flint, MI due to high lead-in-tapw

Post by FreeThought » Tue Jan 12, 2016 1:55 pm

Wow , shades of Aniston 'Bama and the Monsanto PCB debacles.......

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Re: State of emergency in Flint, MI due to high lead-in-tapw

Post by Redbad » Wed Jan 13, 2016 12:27 pm

The most recent news is that the Michigan National Guard has been activated to assist with distributing bottled water and water filters. http://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/p ... /78718490/

Flint is an aging post-industrial city with water mains that are 100 or more years old. The housing stock is of similar age. Much of the plumbing is with lead pipes.

The short term issue is one of public trust. The state government lied to the residents when it told them that the water was safe to use when it had data that there were high lead levels. It will be difficult to persuade residents that the water is safe again.

Folks might want to have some sort of independent pollution monitoring equipment with the rest of their preps...
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Re: State of emergency in Flint, MI due to high lead-in-tapw

Post by jor-el » Thu Jan 14, 2016 12:48 am

Since the 1980's I've been using Brita filters. In those times I was renting an apartment in Chinatown and the building was probably new when Grant was POTUS. All sorts or ancient piping, almost certainly Lead and/or soldered Copper or iron. Didn't trust the water then, leery of Nassau County now.

Having browsed St Paul's Mercantile site a lot, I've been looking at a Berkey competitor, Crystal Drop. http://www.stpaulmercantile.com/index.p ... x&cPath=71

Now that I've looked at it a bit, I found this; http://www.waterfilterlabs.com/Index.html This site seems connected with the Natural News site, and started to feel that infomercial vibe. According to that lab site, only Big Berkey and Zen water filters appear to be the most effective at removing various chemicals.

In their test of a Crystal drop filter, they indicated a 1165.5 % increase in Aluminum and a 51.8% increase in Strontium. That's kind of hard to imagine Aluminum leaching out of a stainless steel alloy body.
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Re: State of emergency in Flint, MI due to high lead-in-tapw

Post by Stercutus » Thu Jan 14, 2016 12:53 am

Ad'lan wrote:
I wonder if this lead dose will be detectable as a spike in crime and aggressive behavior ten-twenty years down the line?
In Flint?

I have my doubts anyone would notice. Flint already has the highest violent crime rate in the whole country and that is saying a lot.

http://www.businessinsider.com/why-is-f ... ous-2013-6

Practically everyone in the city at every level is involved in crime and the citizenry are at best.... disturbed.

http://www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.s ... iver_index

http://www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.s ... iver_index

http://www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.s ... iver_index

Your chance of becoming a victim of a violent crime in Flint is 1 in 58.
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Re: State of emergency in Flint, MI due to high lead-in-tapw

Post by ZombieGranny » Thu Jan 14, 2016 1:05 am

I was doing a search about that test, Jor-el.
All seem just to link back to the same website you linked to.
Try this site for a rebuttal -
http://crystaldropfilter.blogspot.com/
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Re: State of emergency in Flint, MI due to high lead-in-tapw

Post by jor-el » Thu Jan 14, 2016 3:22 am

Thanks, ZombieGranny. The Water Filter Labs test only showed the results for heavy and light metals; no test for organic compounds, nor microorganisms.

Short of LD50 levels, I believe the vast majority of illnesses people are concerned with are from germs and parasitical microorganisms more than lead or copper. A combination of boiling and filtering should produce the best overall results.

Ceramics, more or less made from the same basic materials, should tend to form the same pores and pore size if the manufacturing process is the same.

The same goes for granulated activated charcoal. Beyond variations of wood or nut shells heated in a vaccuum to form charcoal, the charcoal is basically the same from a chemically reactive state.

I guess I'll be giving Crystal Drop more attention in the future. When I finally relocate, who knows what the water quality may be at the site.
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Re: State of emergency in Flint, MI due to high lead-in-tapw

Post by majorhavoc » Thu Jan 14, 2016 10:38 am

News outlets now reporting an emerging outbreak of Legionnaires Disease in Flint. http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/arc ... is/424062/

No evidence yet it's related to the drinking water issue, but you have to wonder.

High crime rate or not, I have to feel pretty bad for the people living in that blighted community. This double public health whammy is also a sobering reminder that when civil infrastructure starts breaking down, it can quickly lead to a cascade of associated health issues.

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Re: State of emergency in Flint, MI due to high lead-in-tapw

Post by raptor » Thu Jan 14, 2016 11:19 am

ZombieGranny wrote:I was doing a search about that test, Jor-el.
All seem just to link back to the same website you linked to.
Try this site for a rebuttal -
http://crystaldropfilter.blogspot.com/
There are a lot of site claiming to water test and water filter test sites. Most (not all) are trying to sell you a water filter that they happen to have in stock. Many sell reverse osmosis systems. Most do NOT sell inexpensive filters of any type. Caveat emptor.

Look for the NSF standard that applies for the filter for further guidance. If you are trying to filter heavy metals NSF Standard 53 is the standard that applies. NSF is like Underwriters Labs (UL) and CE in the EU in that they set the standards and in order to use the NSF label the product has have demonstrated at some point in time that they have met that standard. It is not perfect but it is better than some dude on the internet.

The water filter that you may need should be based upon the contaminant that is causing a problem.

For instance dissolved minerals like arsenic or salts sodium chloride are handled quite well by distillation and reverse osmosis. Which BTW are great but they are expensive to procure and maintain, energy intensive and in the case of RO wasteful of water so if water in short supply these processes would exacerbate that problem.

In other instances like the lead in Flint, the amoeba contamination in NOLA or a fairly common high THC level, AC filters can be a very effective solution. The small faucet mount filters that meet NSF standard 53 will deal with these issues IF properly maintained and replaced as required.

These threads in the Hall of Fame provide a more information when dealing with the water going off.

viewtopic.php?f=89&t=53446

majorhavoc wrote:News outlets now reporting an emerging outbreak of Legionnaires Disease in Flint. http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/arc ... is/424062/

No evidence yet it's related to the drinking water issue, but you have to wonder.
Legionnaires Disease if I am not mistaken a waterborne lung infection. It is frequently related to faulty HVAC systems which make the bacterium airborne.

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-cond ... n-20028867

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Re: State of emergency in Flint, MI due to high lead-in-tapw

Post by Confucius » Thu Jan 14, 2016 3:32 pm

raptor wrote:
majorhavoc wrote:News outlets now reporting an emerging outbreak of Legionnaires Disease in Flint. http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/arc ... is/424062/

No evidence yet it's related to the drinking water issue, but you have to wonder.
Legionnaires Disease if I am not mistaken a waterborne lung infection. It is frequently related to faulty HVAC systems which make the bacterium airborne.

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-cond ... n-20028867
You are not mistaken, but showers fed by too-cool water heaters are a super common source. I could see it being linked, if the water infrastructure there is so sketchy...

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Re: State of emergency in Flint, MI due to high lead-in-tapw

Post by raptor » Thu Jan 14, 2016 3:45 pm

Confucius wrote:
raptor wrote:
majorhavoc wrote:News outlets now reporting an emerging outbreak of Legionnaires Disease in Flint. http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/arc ... is/424062/

No evidence yet it's related to the drinking water issue, but you have to wonder.
Legionnaires Disease if I am not mistaken a waterborne lung infection. It is frequently related to faulty HVAC systems which make the bacterium airborne.

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-cond ... n-20028867
You are not mistaken, but showers fed by too-cool water heaters are a super common source. I could see it being linked, if the water infrastructure there is so sketchy...
Yes per Wiki
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legionnai ... Reservoirs
L. pneumophila thrives in aquatic systems where it is established within amoebae in a symbiotic relationship. In the built environment, central air conditioning systems in office buildings, hotels, and hospitals are sources of contaminated water.[9] Other places it can dwell include cooling towers used in industrial cooling systems, evaporative coolers, nebulizers, humidifiers, whirlpool spas, hot water systems, showers, windshield washers, fountains, room-air humidifiers, ice-making machines, and misting systems typically found in grocery-store produce sections.[6][10]

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Re: State of emergency in Flint, MI due to high lead-in-tapw

Post by duodecima » Thu Jan 14, 2016 4:39 pm

Geez, like Flint needed MORE water problems. :( I hadn't heard about the Legionnaire's yet.

Cross posting a post I did on Legionnaire's when the Bronx was having issues with it last year.

viewtopic.php?f=22&t=116768
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Re: State of emergency in Flint, MI due to high lead-in-tapw

Post by Evan the Diplomat » Fri Jan 15, 2016 12:32 am

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Re: State of emergency in Flint, MI due to high lead-in-tapw

Post by IceWing » Sat Jan 23, 2016 10:49 am

Just a minor thought..

The water pulled from the flint river was so acidic that it basically melted the coating on old lead pipes, right?

The filtration failed... blah blah blah...

My question is one I haven't seen asked...

What in the hell makes a river so acidic it can melt linings and pipes?

Are we butchering xenomorphs upstream? Pouring pure hydrochloric acid in it by the tanker ship load?
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Re: State of emergency in Flint, MI due to high lead-in-tapw

Post by ZombieGranny » Sat Jan 23, 2016 12:05 pm

One assumes industrial runoff, as high chloride levels have been reported.
There are environmental laws, but (rest of sentence redacted.)
In my day, we didn't have virtual reality.
If a one-eyed razorback barbarian warrior was chasing you with an ax, you just had to hope you could outrun him.
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Preps buy us time. Time to learn how and time to remember how. Time to figure out what is a want, what is a need.

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