Marc Edwards on Latest Pipe Replacement Home

Retesting the homes that were in the original Flint Water Study group of 271 is coming to a close this week. Saturday is the last day the researchers from Virginia Tech will be in Flint, during their Spring Break. They have been collecting samples turned in throughout the week.

Crews work to replace pipes at the home of Elnora Carthan on Friday, March 11, 2016 in the north side of Flint. Though the service line was replaced, Virginia Tech Professor Marc Edwards is paying to have the plumbing in the house redone so he can test the pipes. Credit: Conor Ralph | MLive.com

Crews work to replace pipes at the home of Elnora Carthan on Friday, March 11, 2016 in the north side of Flint. Though the service line was replaced, Virginia Tech Professor Marc Edwards is paying to have the plumbing in the house redone so he can test the pipes. Credit: Conor Ralph | MLive.com

Friday Marc Edwards made a visit to one of the homes with the highest lead level tested. Expecting to find the interior pipes galvanized, but finding they were copper leads the manner of corrective activities into new paths. Each home will need a survey of the type of plumbing, corrosion present in the lines, and how much the water supply lines from the street to the meter contributes to lead coming through the faucet.

On Friday, March 11 Edwards was out with crews at a home on McClellan Street on Flint’s north side after crews found copper water lines on both the homeowner and city sides. Edwards said the owner, Elnora Carthan, had allowed Virginia Tech researchers to sample her water over a series of months. Her initial water test showed 1,000 ppb for lead.

“This illustrates just how complicated this is going to be,” Edwards said. “Even if you get rid of the lead pipe people still have lead.”

Lead isn’t the only concern, excessive levels of copper and other compounds complicate research efforts.

Attribution: Removing lead pipes may not solve Flint's water crisis

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