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Flint tap water "still not safe" says Virginia Tech researcher

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

A top researcher says it’s still too soon to drink Flint’s tap water unfiltered.

Virginia Tech University researcher Marc Edwards has been studying Flint’s water problems for months.    Tests conducted by Edwards’ team on water samples from more than 250 Flint homes showed elevated levels of lead.  

Edwards has been in Flint this week testing tap water in ten ‘sentinel’ homes.  He says the tests are tracking what’s happened in the six weeks since Flint switched back to Detroit water, after 18 months of getting tap water from the corrosive Flint River. 

“The average lead has gone down by about 50%. So that’s good news,” says Edwards. 

But Edwards says the bad news is there’s still too much lead in the water.

“(The water is) still not safe to drink by any stretch of the imagination,” says Edwards. 

Edwards predicts Flint’s drinking water will continue to improve over the next few weeks.  He says people should continue to use water filters for the foreseeable future.

However, Edwards says lead will continue to be an issue in Flint for a long time to come.  

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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