FLINT, MI - Gov. Rick Snyder spent time Monday visiting a home that has recently tested high for lead levels through the state's sentinel site testing program.
According to a press release, he spoke with the resident about their water, the use of filters and drank filtered water with them to help show the water is safe.
"I completely understand why some Flint residents are hesitant to drink the water and I am hopeful I can alleviate some of the skepticism and mistrust by putting words to action," Snyder said in the release. "Flint residents made it clear that they would like to see me personally drink the water, so today I am fulfilling that request. And I will continue drinking Flint water at work and at home for at least 30 days."
The residence the governor visited today is part of the state's sentinel site testing program. The home has lead service lines and has tested higher than the federal action level for lead of 15 ppb (unfiltered). The homeowner uses a filter, but had expressed concerns about whether the filtered water is safe to drink. The governor met with the resident to discuss water quality issues and left with enough filtered water to get him started on drinking and cooking with the water for 30 days.
Snyder plans on refilling his Flint water supply when he is in the city each week.
A consensus reached earlier this month by state, federal and independent water quality experts shows the water quality in Flint is improving and is safe to drink as long as a filter is in place. The protective coating is being restored to Flint's pipes, which is an important measure needed to provide quality water until lead pipes can be replaced.
The experts have also recommended a flushing protocol for all homes, to help improve the flow of the treatments as well as flush pieces of lead out of the pipes. The state will provide an additional credit on upcoming water and sewer bills to be applied for the costs incurred by flushing approximately 600 gallons through each home.
Guidance for using filters:
The city of Flint, the state, and the EPA are all encouraging residents to use filtered water for drinking and cooking, as the team of experts agrees that data proves it is safe to use filtered water as a primary source of drinking water.
Test results indicate that filters are extremely effective in removing lead from water, even at very high levels.
Residents should be sure to properly maintain these filters to make sure they are operating correctly by replacing used cartridges and only running cold water through the filters.
Step 1: Run cold water at the highest flow in the bathtub for 5 minutes. Do not use the showerhead because it has a lower flow rate.
Step 2: Bypass or remove your filter, then run cold water at the highest flow from the kitchen faucet for 5 minutes. Remember to turn your filter back on or reinstall it when done. EPA testing has shown filters are effective at removing even very high levels of lead.
Step 3: Do this every day for 14 days.
Residents need to clean the aerators of sink faucets once per week to remove any pieces of lead that may be or may become trapped inside the screen.
Aerators are the small screens which screw inside the opening of a faucet. Their job is to improve water flow and to catch any particles that may be floating loose in a home's pipes.