Flint, Michigan (WNEM) –The City of Flint is urging people to drink filtered tap water until all residential lead wires are replaced.
“It’s too early. They seem to say we won the race, but we still have a few laps to go,” said Flint Rising’s Melissa Mays.
Flint Rising is an advocacy group led by Flint residents fighting for water, environmental and climate justice. Mays scoffed at the idea of using filtered tap water instead of bottled water.
“According to medical advice, the elderly, pregnant women, children under the age of 6, and children with weakened immune systems should use bottled water.
The City of Flint, the EPA, and EGLE have said bottled water has no health benefits over filtered tap water, and are banning free water filters until all residential lead service lines are replaced citywide. Residents are advised to continue using it.
However, Mays said the work to replace these service lines could have loosened large amounts of lead and damaged tap water filters.
“Tap filters can quickly mess up when hit with concentrations above 150 ppb. That’s what they’re all about,” says Mays. “I think the city needs to do everything it can and use all available funds to protect public health and keep bottled water.”
Flint residents at City Hall said all possibilities for using filtered tap water have been exhausted.
“You still want to drink filtered water from a pipe you haven’t fixed,” said one resident.
“I won’t let my dog drink that water either,” said another.
“There is not enough water, so if you buy what you can afford, you should be able to get other water,” said another.
Another resident said, “I will never trust you again.”
According to the Flint Filter Study, Brita and Pur point-of-use faucet filters effectively remove lead when properly installed and maintained. According to the city, the most recent recorded lead level in water was 10 ppb, well below the federal action level of 15 ppb.
Despite this, Mays is adamant that bottled water is still necessary and necessary.
“If we didn’t need bottled water, people would be waiting in their cars for hours each week to get bottled water. It should mean that it is,” Mays said.
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