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Flint water crisisman-made public health crisis April —June involving the municipal water supply system of FlintMichigan. Tens of thousands of Flint residents were exposed to dangerous levels of leadand outbreaks of Legionnaire disease killed at least 12 people and sickened dozens more. In Michigan Gov.


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In Maythey informed officials that the water was causing rashes, especially in children MDEQ e-mail records. In the area of Flint that had the highest lead levels in the watei; the BLLs in children who were tested increased by a factor of about 2.

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Nevertheless, they can be used to assess the potential effects of water quality changes on the likelihood of corrosion. Bench-scale jar testing for trihalomethane THM removal was not completed until sometime between January and August City of Flint Without any treatability studies on which to determine chemical dosages until late August City of Flintit appears that plant personnel were left to attempt to address the plethora of complex water quality issues and complaints by trial and error.

Taste-and-odor-causing compounds were removed using activated carbon, along with the addition of ammonia and sodium chlorite. The reasons for the increase in the lime dosage in November and then the decrease in February and March are unknown. ByFlint River water was being treated using alum coagulation before sand filtration, with the plant rated at 28 mgd Hardin Construction on a new treatment plant for the City of Flint began in and was completed in At that point, treatment of the Flint River included prechlorination, coagulation with alum, lime-soda ash softening, recarbonation, filtration, the addition of polyphosphate for corrosion control, and postchlorination.

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The month source water sampling for Cryptosporidium, E. However, TTHM exceedances continued, so the anthracite media in the filters was replaced with granular activated carbon, and the ozonation system was repaired in summer MDEQ Construction Permit W In attempting to understand what happened in Flint, it is necessary to look not only at specific contaminants but also the general quality of the treated water.

There has been much in the news about the water crisis that began in in Flint, Mich. An LSI value greater than zero indicates that the solution is supersaturated and the precipitation of calcium carbonate is favored and that corrosion is less likely. From there, water moved into the recarbonation unit, where carbon dioxide was added to lower the pH.

The 50th percentile pH, color, and turbidity of the finished tap water were While DWSD and the City of Flint never entered into a contractual agreement, it is unclear whether blending of these two different waters actually occurred. The Langelier saturation index LSI is a measure of calcium carbonate solubility described as.

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As a result of reductions in pH, alkalinity, and hardness during treatment, the finished water was undersaturated with respect to calcium carbonate Figure 8. The turbidity of the finished water did not vary greatly 0. Parameter concentrations used to characterize the likelihood of corrosion and associated CSMR and Larson-Skold indexes in the treated Flint River water.

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As Eric P. This analysis is based on an extensive review of the monthly operating reports MORs and other reported documents from the water treatment facilities, and from personal communications with plant operators and managers. An LSI value less than zero indicates that the solution is undersaturated and calcium carbonate dissolution is favored, and that the water could be corrosive if no other measures were taken to control corrosion. It is unclear what ozone dosage was used over the majority of the treatment period because it was not recorded in the MORs until March Bromate is a disinfection by-product formed by the reaction of bromide ion with ozone.

The turbidity of the raw Flint River water varied seasonally Figure 9. If water is distributed from this plant in the next couple weeks, it will be against my direction. The reason for the change in alkalinity and pH after June is unknown, as the online and stories chloride dosages were fairly constant during this period.

No data for bromate concentrations are provided in the consumer confidence report City of Flint ; however, e-mail correspondence on Apr. Disinfection was accomplished using gaseous chlorine which, as shown in Figure 2was to be added both before and after filtration.

In doing this, the source water changed from Dating Huron to the Flint River. Starting in summera of violations occurred. For example, the dosage of the anionic polymer PPWG added to the lime softening process to enhance settling was initially 0. Escherichia coli E. By Aug. In September, a team led by a local pediatrician, Mona Hanna-Attisha, published data showing that blood lead levels BLLs in children increased ificantly after the switch to the Flint River as a water source Hanna-Attisha et al.

Difficulties were encountered in maintaining chlorine residuals throughout the distribution system throughout the 1. The water then flowed into a rapid mix tank, where ferric chloride was added. The elevated levels of lead found in the drinking water of residences in Flint have had a profound effect on the Flint of trust within the community and the state, the economy of the region, and the health and well-being of the residents of Flint and the surrounding communities.

The FWSC raw water intake is upstream of most development in Flint, but there is still some concern about industrial contaminants and sewage Fonger c. Variability in the monthly average ozone and polymer dosages used at the Flint water treatment plant for 1. As shown in Figure 7the pH and alkalinity of the finished water varied ificantly over the 1.

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The plant was rated at a capacity of 59 mgd, with a maximum overload capacity of 86 mgd. As the temperature of the water is likely to change in the distribution system warms during winter, cools during summerthe LSI is also likely to change, suggesting that the water became more under-saturated during summer and less undersaturated during winter. The location of chlorine application varied ificantly during the treatment period, with no post-filtration chlorination until May 17,and then no prefilter chlorination after Aug.

No justification for these changes was documented in the MORs. Given the low residual disinfectant levels chlorine in this case and the presence of iron in the water in the distribution system Veolia North AmericaFeltonalong with high concentrations of assimiliable organic carbon that would have likely formed during the ozonation of the high total organic carbon TOC Flint River water, conditions could have been conducive to biological growth and the propagation of Legionella in the distribution network.

Langelier saturation index of the treated Flint River water at various times during the treatment period. The first bromate sample was to be taken by the end of that month. Although a of indexes have been developed to provide an indication of the likelihood that corrosion or deposition will occur, none are able to predict the rate at which corrosion might occur.

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The chloride level in the treated water was ificantly higher than in the river water, predominantly due to the addition of ferric chloride as a coagulant. ificant changes were made to chemical dosages, and the reasons for these changes were often not apparent.

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The minutes of the Nov. In summerthe chlorine demand was somewhat lower than in summerbut it is not clear whether this is due to eliminating the softening bypass stream or to other causes. Try out PMC Labs and tell us what you think. Many warnings and concerns were voiced regarding the use of the Flint River as a community water source. The decreases in alkalinity from June to July and over the course of the period from March to Mayboth correspond to increases in the lime dosage Figure 3. Not surprisingly, the chlorine demand, calculated by subtracting the chlorine residual leaving the treatment plant from the applied chlorine dosage, increased during the summer and decreased during the winter.

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Although numerous changes were made to the treatment process over the course of the 1. In response to this and the detection of E. However, as shown in Table 1increasing the chlorine dose resulted in increased concentrations of TTHMs. Fluoride was added at the outlet of the clarifier. The carbon dioxide dosage may have changed during recarbonation, but the carbon dioxide dosages were not provided in the MORs. It is clear from the MOR that the online was woefully unprepared for full-time operation on Apr. Also, chlorine residual monitoring equipment at the point of entry stories the distribution system had not been installed, so chlorine levels would have had to have been measured by taking grab samples from the clearwell as well as from a tap in the laboratory.

Within a few weeks of the switch, residents started complaining about the color, taste, and odor of their drinking water. Learn More. From the settling unit, water flowed into an upflow clarifier, where lime and anionic and cationic polymers were added. As stories in Figure 6chlorine residuals in the treated Online River water were low during the first few months of operation. Sodium bisulfate was added in the last cell of the ozone contactor to destroy any residual ozone left in the water. After much publicity regarding the lead problem, on Oct. Because the lead levels measured in the water remained high in some houses, on Dec.

Finally, in Februaryinformation on the increase in the of cases of Legionellosis that occurred in Flint in the summers of and was released. With the goal of reducing the costs for treated water FeltonFlint officials decided in to the newly formed Karegnondi Water Authority KWAwhich was constructing its own pipeline to transmit raw water from Lake Huron. Although not all of the homes sampled were Tier 1 sites City of Flintthe first round of sampling revealed that the 90th percentile lead concentration was greater than that observed during the five rounds of testing Figure 1 ; by the end of the second six-month sampling period, the 90th percentile lead level was almost three times greater than that observed in the 15 years Figure Flint.

Ninety-one cases and 12 deaths have been confirmed in the Flint area, up from six to 13 cases a year before the switch to Flint River water Anderson The source of the outbreak has not been definitively determined or directly connected to the Flint water system, but as noted by Andersonthe illnesses began after Flint changed its water supply.

Water was drawn from the Flint River through raw water screens, then pumped into the ozonation basin. Flint, it can be observed that the turbidity of the water applied to the filters varied greatly, indicating the challenges plant opera tors had in achieving consistent performance in the upflow clarifiers. It appears that, on the basis of the MORs, chlorination after filtration was not used until May 17, Fluoridation was not implemented until July 2, The water utility did not have a corrosion-control plan, and it had dating installed corrosion control equipment when the water was switched back to DWSD on Oct.

On dating basis of the comments in the MORs, the filter headloss meters were never made operational. From there, the water entered a three-stage flocculation unit followed by plate settlers. During this time, red water and discoloration were observed throughout the distribution system Veolia North AmericaFeltonand there was an unusually large of water main breaks Fonger General Motors Corporation complained about the corrosiveness of the water on its engine parts and in October switched to using water from Flint Township instead of from Flint.