The Environmental Protection Agency said on Thursday that filtered Flint water has been deemed safe to drink for everyone in the city.
According to the EPA, they have completed testing of filters in Flint and found that the filters, distributed by Michigan, "effectively remove lead or reduce it to levels well below EPA's action level of 15 parts per billion (ppb)."
“These findings reaffirm the effectiveness of filters at removing or reducing lead. This is an important step forward for providing a stable water system for the City of Flint,” EPA Science Advisor and Deputy Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Research and Development Tom Burke said in a release. “Residents can be confident that EPA’s sampling results correspond with previous tests and are consistent with outside experts’ findings.”
Over the past two months, the EPA has been collecting water samples at nearly 50 locations deemed "high-risk" for lead-contaminated water. Nearly all of the filtered water tests came back at concentrations well below 1 ppb, according to the EPA.
Though some of the filtered water had previously been deemed safe, pregnant and nursing women and children were urged to drink bottled water to avoid lead exposure. Now, the EPA said they no longer need to drink bottled water.
In January, the state began making filters free to residents, and more than 50,000 filters and 243,000 replacement cartridges have been handed out.
Also in January, water samples from the EPA, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and Virginia Tech University showed lead levels in some Flint homes higher than 150 ppb.