News Briefs: Governor Responds to Calls to Drink Flint Water

In this week’s news briefs, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder vows to drink Flint water for at least a month, Boston expands its lead service line replacement program, and two water projects in Southern California earn international acclaim.
News Briefs: Governor Responds to Calls to Drink Flint Water

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In response to concerns over unsafe drinking water, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder says he will drink filtered tap water from Flint for the next 30 days. Snyder made the announcement after visiting a home in Flint, where he drank filtered water and left with 5 gallons of filtered water from the family’s kitchen tap.

“I completely understand why some Flint residents are hesitant to drink the water, and I am hopeful I can alleviate some of the skepticism and mistrust by putting words to action,” Snyder told reporters. “Flint residents made it clear that they would like to see me personally drink the water, so today I am fulfilling that request, and I will continue drinking Flint water at work and at home for at least 30 days.”

The governor encouraged Flint residents to start using filtered tap water instead of bottled water earlier this month after federal and state officials determined that filtered tap water was safe to drink. Some citizens remain unconvinced despite Snyder’s actions.

“His whole family has to drink it,” Flint resident Elizabeth Taylor told WZZM 13. “They have to cook with it and bathe with it. He thinks we just trust him because he says so?”

In April 2014, the city shifted its water source from Detroit to the Flint River, a cost-cutting move that resulted in corroded pipes causing lead poisoning and a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak that killed at least nine people and sickened 78, CBS News reports.

Source: WZZM 13, CBS News

Boston Expands Lead Replacement Incentive Program
Boston Mayor Martin Walsh announced the expansion of the Boston Water and Sewer Commission Lead Replacement Incentive Program to encourage property owners to replace private lead water service lines.

The program expands eligibility to properties of all types, including commercial, with lead service lines 2 inches or smaller. The expansion doubles available financial assistance in the form of a credit of up to $2,000 to property owners that use a BWSC contractor to replace lead pipes. Another incentive includes an interest-free loan for up to 48 months for eligible property owners.

Since 2005, the program was responsible for helping replace 1,391 private lead service lines.

“The health and safety of our residents is our top priority and in Boston we are making significant strides towards replacing the remaining lead pipes across the city,” Walsh says.

Source: City of Boston

Southern California Water Projects Win International Recognition
The $1 billion desalination plant in Carlsbad, California, and San Diego’s innovative water recycling program both received international recognition a global water summit in Abu Dhabi, the Times of San Diego reports.

The Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant was honored as the Desalination Plant of the Year, and the City of San Diego’s Pure Water program was recognized as the Water Reuse Project of the Year at the 2016 Global Water Summit held in the capital of the United Arab Emirates.

“The successful completion of the largest desalination plant in North America followed years of seemingly insurmountable technical, financial and legal hurdles,” says Global Water Intelligence, producer of the conference. “The tenacity shown by the developer team is matched only by the importance of seawater desalination as a key part of the solution to California’s water crises.”

According to the report, San Diego’s recycling project is moving from a successful test phase to construction of a 30 mgd facility by 2021. A third of city’s drinking water ultimately will be recycled.

The Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant in Carlsbad, California.

Source: Times of San Diego


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