Flint Faces Disinfection Byproduct ‘Crisis’

Posted in: Drinking Water News, United States Water News, Water Contamination, Water Crisis
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Image credit: “Junction with Interstate 275 to Flint, Michigan, Interstate 75 Northbound Near Detroit, Michigan,” Ken Lund © 2014.ion

Article courtesy of Sara Jerome | January 7, 2015 | Water Online | Shared as educational material

A Michigan city is warning certain elderly people and families with infants that they need to talk to a doctor before they drink their tap water as a result of trihalomethanes, a disinfection byproduct. Outraged locals are labeling it a “crisis.”

A notice from Flint, MI said that people with “a severely compromised immune system, (who) have an infant or are elderly…may be at increased risk and should seek advice about drinking water from your health care provider,”according to MLive.

Some locals are outraged, calling for an investigation into the problem. Flint Democracy Defense League “is asking the Flint City Council to investigate what it’s calling Flint’s ‘water crisis,'” according to a laterMLive report.

Nayyirah Shariff, a spokeswoman for the league, said, “It’s absolutely outrageous that we’re paying one of the highest water rates in the state, and we just got the [notice of this violation],” according to the report.

The city is hoping to resolve this issue in the coming year.

“Representatives of the city and state Department of Environmental Quality have said progress has been made in lowering the amount of trihalomethanes at water sampling locations in Flint since May, and the city’s notice says it expects to fully resolve the problem in 2015,” the report said.

Policymakers are not pleased. City Council President Josh Freeman said, “It’s been a rocky road. It’s not acceptable,” according to the earlier report.

The problems follow a series of difficulties for the Flint water department that began when “officials changed the water source pumped to homes and business from treated Lake Huron water purchased from the city of Detroit to water drawn directly from the Flint River and treated in Flint,” the report said.

According to the EPA, “some people who drink water containing total trihalomethanes in excess of the MCL over many years could experience liver, kidney, or central nervous system problems and increased risk of cancer.”

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