Flint urged to flush out lead from plumbing

Associated Press

Flint — Experts trying to flush lead from Flint’s old plumbing urged residents Saturday to run cold water for a certain period each day for two weeks.

The state of Michigan pledged to pay for the extra consumption with a credit on water bills, an expense that could add up to about $300,000.

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The strategy, which starts May 1, is intended to get rid of lead particles and to coat the pipes with a corrosion control.

“These particles are a significant factor in Flint homes where water samples have shown very high lead concentrations,” the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said.

Flint, which has about 100,000 residents, is still recovering from using the Flint River for 18 months without corrosion control. The water leached lead from old plumbing. The city switched to another source in October.

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Residents are being urged to run cold water at the highest volume in the bathtub and kitchen, each for five minutes a day. Any kitchen filter should be removed during the flushing.

The announcement was made at a public forum at the Flint campus of the University of Michigan.

The EPA said lead service lines still should be removed when possible, even if the water lines are successfully coated with a chemical that prevents leaching.