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Corrosion and Toxic Water in Flint, Michigan

January 25, 2016

In Flint, Michigan, the public water supply became contaminated when the state Department of Environmental quality failed to treat the highly corrosive Flint River with an anti-corrosion agent. As a result, lead pipes leading to residents' home were corroding and deposit lead into the drinking water.

If you’ve turned on the news lately, chances are you’ve heard about the water situation in Flint, Michigan. In case you haven’t, here’s a quick recap for you: About two years ago, the town’s water supply was switched from Lake Huron to Flint River in an effort to cut costs. Shortly after, the water started to appear and taste strangely.

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How tap water became toxic in Flint, Michigan via CNN.com

The public was assured that the water was safe to consume, however some skeptical researchers took matters into their own hands and found that the water had been contaminated with lead. These findings were confirmed by looking at lead levels in toddlers’ blood, which Medicare requires states to keep records of.

As it turns out, the Flint River is highly corrosive (almost 20 times more corrosive than Lake Huron!) and the state Department of Environmental Quality was not treating the river with an anti-corrosive agent. This is a violation of federal law.

About half of the pipes leading to the homes in Flint are made of lead, which is a powerful neurotoxin, and this harmful chemical was contaminating the water supply. Lead poisoning is linked to both physical and mental health issues such as memory loss, mood disorders, muscle pain, and many others. The state is now handing out water filters and bottled water until the issue can be resolved.

This incident serves as a reminder about the importance of taking the right measures to protect your piping systems. There’s no doubt about it that investing in protecting your pipes will save you from the dangerous and colossally expensive repercussions of corrosion. At APP, we have perfected the science and engineering of using composite materials to produce the industry’s most effective safeguards against external pipe corrosion.

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