Virginia Tech Professor Marc Edwards releases recent Flint water test results

By John Steckroth - Editor

BLACKSBURG, Va. - Virginia Tech Professor Marc Edwards announced the results of the most recent Flint water tests Friday morning.

The conference was held at 10:30 a.m. in the University Gateway Center at Virginia Tech.

Data from the fourth round of water testing was released, as well as the tests for Legionella and Shigella bacteria, aesthetic iron and disinfection by-products. The findings show a decrease in lead-in-water and bacteria levels in Flint following state and federal interventions over the past year.

"Citizen-led testing shows water conditions continue to improve. "Lead and iron levels in the water are decreasing, with many more homes having non-detectable levels at the tap," Edwards said. "However, residents should continue to use bottled water and lead filters until otherwise notified by the EPA or the state."

The results from the most recent testing in November show 43 percent of water samples contain detectable lead at 6 percent about the 15 parts per billion federal action level. Results from the initial August 2015 testing showed 92 percent of water samples contained detectable lead with 17 percent above the 15 ppb.

Additionally, the presence of Legionella and Shigella bacteria in the Flint water supply has also decreased significantly.

Edwards became involved in Flint when resident LeeAnne Walters reached out to him regarding the quality and safety of her tap water after her children suffered illnesses and rashes. In collaboration with other Flisdnt residents, Edwards and a team of 17 Virginia Tech students and researchers conducted a conducted a comprehensive city-wide sampling effort which brought the Flint water crisis to light.

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver is expected to hold a news conference Friday morning to update the FAST Start initiative.

READ: Mayor Karen Weaver to update Flint water crisis at news conference

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