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Water Pressure: City of Flint to Install New Carbon Water Filter

background of water pipeline

Within the next few weeks, the city of Flint, MI plans to install a new $1.6 million carbon water filtration system into its water system, a move that officials say could cut an entire class of pollutants from local drinking water.

According to a July 9 MLive.com article, the granulated carbon filter media installation will remove total trihalomethanes (TTHM) from the city’s tap water.

Experts estimate that there are more than 2,100 known contaminants that can potentially be present in tap water. TTHM, a byproduct of chlorine, is also a widely-known carcinogen and has been linked with a number of other health problems.

Doughtery Johnson, Flint’s utilities administrator, has called the filtration system “somewhat of a miracle worker.”

“This is kind of a magic bullet,” Johnson said of the system when installation began last month.

TTHM has been a major concern among residents of Flint due to high levels of the chemical being present in its drinking water. The city has been in violation of the Safe Drinking Water Act since the beginning of the year.

In a cost-cutting move, the city of Flint began sourcing its water from the Flint River last year after it stopped using Detroit’s water system. Since the transition, some residents have made complaints about their drinking water’s smell, taste and appearance, the Detroit Free Press reported. On Friday, July 10, Flint residents held a downtown rally to protest the ongoing water problems.

Because violations are based on a 12-month average, Flint is technically still in violation of the law, despite the fact that recent tests revealed TTHM content below the maximum level. Currently, city and state Department of Environmental Quality officials say that the tap water is safe to drink, although those who have infant children or who are elderly may want to exercise caution.

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