Campus Water Communications

Since Fall 2014, the University of Michigan-Flint has been conducting tests of drinking water quality on campus. The University has been sharing updates about those efforts since that time. The following is a log of those communications to the campus community:

April 20th, 2017

Dear Campus Community:

EHS completed another round of water quality testing on campus. The water testing events were conducted March 14th, 15th, and 16th by an independent environmental consultant and analyzed by a state certified laboratory. In every test, the levels of lead were below the maximum contaminant levels and in the majority of samples collected lead levels were non-detectable. The results are posted on our Campus Water Information website.

As always, if you should have any questions, do not hesitate to contact EHS.

 

Sincerely,

Michael Lane
Director of Environment, Health & Safety

December 22nd, 2016

Dear Campus Community:

EHS completed another round of water quality testing on campus. The water testing events were conducted September 27-28 and October 27 by an independent environmental consultant and analyzed by a state certified laboratory. In every test, the levels of lead were below the maximum contaminant levels and in the majority of cases lead levels were non-detectable. The results are posted on our Campus Water Information website.

As always, if you should have any questions, do not hesitate to contact EHS.

 

Sincerely,

Michael Lane
Director of Environment, Health & Safety

November 1st, 2016

Dear Campus Community:
 
Today we informed all residents of Riverfront Residence Hall that recent water test results show a decrease in the presence of Legionella bacteria. After campus-wide testing earlier this fall showed the presence of Legionella bacteria in three rooms not occupied by students at Riverfront, the University instituted corrective measures including flushing the system and working with national experts.
 
Recent test results of samples taken throughout the Riverfront water system show low levels of Legionella, which is a naturally occurring bacteria. The full results of our testing are available at our Campus Water Quality website at www.umflint.edu/campus-water.
 
The University of Michigan-Flint will continue to closely monitor campus water quality, including proactive testing, maintaining recommended water temperatures, and flushing water systems.
 
Again, none of the county’s reported cases of Legionnaires’ disease is connected to the University of Michigan-Flint or Riverfront Residence Hall, according to the Genesee County Health Department. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention protocols do not require notification and corrective action unless there is an outbreak of illness. However, the university decided to act with an abundance of caution and transparency to notify residents and the campus of test results.
 
Thank you,
 
 
Michael Lane
Director of Environment, Health & Safety

October 6th, 2016

Statement by Chancellor Susan E. Borrego:

The University of Michigan-Flint is notifying all residents of Riverfront Residence Hall that recent test results have shown the presence of Legionella bacteria. The University conducted testing of water samples across campus as part of its continued commitment to proactive water testing. Three locations in Riverfront show the presence of Legionella bacteria.

The University notified the Genesee County Health Department and the Centers for Disease Control about the findings. They indicated that these test results are not atypical and reflect a small snapshot into water quality. We know that Legionella can accumulate in stagnant water.
 
According to the Centers for Disease Control, protocols related to notification and corrective action do not exist absent an outbreak of illness. However, the University is acting with an abundance of caution and transparency to notify you of test results. The University also has begun corrective actions.
 
According to both the Centers for Disease Control and the Genesee County Health Department, healthy college students are very low risk for becoming ill. Most healthy adults do not contract Legionnaires’ disease even if exposed to legionella bacteria, which is a naturally forming bacteria that can cause a type of pneumonia.
 
Please let me reassure you that in checking with the Centers for Disease Control I have been told that these test results do not indicate immediate risk to our campus or community.
 
The Genesee County Health Department confirmed that none of the county’s reported cases of Legionnaires’ disease are connected to the University of Michigan-Flint or Riverfront Residence Hall.
 
Our campus began its proactive measuring and testing by an independent laboratory and consultant a full two years ago. We have and will continue to test proactively. We have and will continue to use an abundance of caution to ensure the safety for our campus community and to be transparent about test results.
 
The University also will immediately begin corrective actions including flushing the water system and working with national experts to maintain safe water. We also will continue to work with the Centers for Disease Control and the Genesee County Health Department.

June 20th, 2016

Dear campus community:

The City of Flint issued a precautionary boil water advisory today for several blocks in the West Court Street area. The University of Michigan-Flint campus is NOT included in the area advised to boil water.
 
The boil water notice as well as a map issued by the City of Flint detailing the area impacted by boil water advisory are attached. If you or anyone you know lives or works in area, you should not drink the water, including filtered water, until it has been boiled. For additional information, please review the attached boil water notice.
 
Thank you.

June 17th, 2016

Dear Campus Community,

EHS has completed another round of water quality testing on campus. The water testing events were conducted May 11-13 and May 27 by an independent environmental consultant and analyzed by a state certified laboratory.
 
More than 50 water locations across campus were tested. In some locations, we also tested both filtered and unfiltered water. In every test, the levels of lead were below the maximum contaminant levels and in the vast majority of cases lead levels were non-detectable.
 
To ensure water safety on campus, EHS and the environmental consultant has the laboratory run several tests for water quality. More than a dozen different water quality analyses are conducted including levels of E. Coli, Coliform, metals, pH, chlorine, and TTHMs. Out of all the tests from all the sample locations across campus, one test showed atypical results. A conference room sink the School of Management in the Riverfront Center showed an elevated level of copper ONLY when water was unfiltered. When the filter was used, the tests showed the water had non-detectable levels of copper. The filters in place are working, and the filtered water on campus is safe to drink.
 
The results of our testing have been posted on our Campus Water Information website. The map of the campus results also is in the process of being updated and will be posted soon. In the meantime, we wanted to share these results with you.
 
The University will continue to take all necessary measures to ensure that drinking water on campus is tested, filtered and safe.
 
The filters on campus are regularly monitored and maintained. Filters in Riverfront and First Street residence halls have digital readers that indicate when a replacement cartridge is needed. Replacements also are available by calling Facilities & Operations at (810) 762-3223.
 
Reminder:

If the water in your home is provided by the City of Flint, we encourage you to continue to monitor your home filters and replace cartridges regularly. Water filters and replacement cartridges are available at the the Recreation Center front desk. Simply bring your MCard and indicate if you need a Pur or Brita brand filter.
 
As always, if you should have any questions, do not hesitate to contact EHS.

Sincerely,
 
Michael Lane
Director of Environment, Health and Safety
 

February, 19th 2016

Dear Campus Community,
 
I would like to share with you today that water on campus continues to be safe.  As I hope you already know, the University of Michigan-Flint is committed to regularly monitoring and testing its water and ensuring the safety of water on campus.
 
Our most recent testing was conducted February 2-4, 2016. As always, testing is conducted and analyzed by an expert, independent water consultant and laboratory. Their laboratory reports indicate that the majority of testing locations on campus showed non-detectable levels of lead—even when filters were removed. One location exceeded the federal standard for safe drinking water, but this was in a restroom sink that is appropriately labeled for hand washing only. Every other test showed lead levels not exceeding 5 parts per billion for filtered and unfiltered water—far below the federal drinking water standard of 15 parts per billion.  
 
As part of our ongoing commitment to keeping our campus community informed, the University has created and today is launching an interactive map to provide up-to-date information on lead testing results. You can find the map on our Campus Water Information page: https://www.umflint.edu/water-testing-results In a glance you can see where recent water tests were conducted and simply click on the dot to review the data for each testing location.
 
UM-Flint continues to take all necessary measures to ensure drinking water in all campus facilities is safe, filtered and tested. 
 
The University has water filters and replacement cartridges available for any faculty, staff or student living in the city to ensure they have access to safe water both on campus and at home: https://www.umflint.edu/campus-water/community-resources.
 
The University of Michigan-Flint also remains actively involved in helping our community. In the midst of this public health crisis, we will continue to contribute powerful and transformative education, research and solutions for the short- and long-term.
 
Thank you for all you have done to support our campus and community.
 
Susan E. Borrego, Ph.D.
Chancellor

February 9th, 2016

Dear campus community:
 
The University of Michigan-Flint campus is NOT located within the geographic area included in a precautionary boil water advisory issued by the City of Flint today. The area impacted by the boil water advisory is all of the city north of Flushing Road and Robert T. Longway Boulevard. If you live within the area impacted, please see the attached instructions from the City of Flint. Also included is a detailed map showing the boil water advisory area. 
 
Sincerely,
 
Business & Finance Team

February 2nd, 2016

The news is reporting some Flint homes exceed lead levels at rates that filters do not work. Campus wide testing, conducted by an independent consultant, analyzed levels of lead, copper and trihalomethanes. We want to assure you that the testing in all instances showed water filters across the UM-Flint campus are working properly. The University drinking water is safe, filtered, and regularly tested. 
 
We have been conducting water tests on campus for more than a year and will continue to do so. Our next scheduled tests are this week (Feb. 2-6). We will update you when those results become available.
 
Department of Environment, Health & Safety

January 25th, 2016

To All Members of the University of Michigan Community:

Yesterday, Chancellor Sue Borrego sent a letter to the UM-Flint community detailing the extensive measures she and her team have taken to ensure the safety of all drinking water on campus and to outline her plans for supporting the campus and Flint communities in the months ahead.

I commend her and the entire UM-Flint team for their actions during this crisis. Their considerable efforts began more than a year ago, and because of their actions, drinking water on the campus is safe. UM-Flint is working in partnership with the community to help all Flint residents, and faculty from all three U-M campuses are stepping up to contribute their expertise.

UM-Flint has installed water filters throughout the campus, distributed filters to students and community members, and continues to test water to ensure safety. Chancellor Borrego and UM-Flint Provost Doug Knerr are convening faculty from all of our campuses this week to help identify needs and areas where we can best help.

More information on UM-Flint’s response is available in the University Record and on the Campus Water Information page. 

As Chancellor Borrego said, this is a long-term crisis for one of our state’s most important cities and its people. The strong ties she has built with the community will be needed more than ever.

At our core, we are a public university whose mission is to serve the people of Michigan first. For 60 years, UM-Flint has embraced this mission to its fullest extent. The campus’ continuing devotion to educational access and its deep investment in the community are at the foundation of a long and resilient partnership.

It’s a partnership that the University of Michigan is committed to in perpetuity.

At U-M, a crisis in the host city of one of campuses is a crisis that affects us all. We will do all we can to ensure health and safety for our campus community and the people of Flint. We are all one family.

Sincerely,

Mark S. Schlissel
President, University of Michigan

January 24th, 2016

Dear Campus Community:

I am writing with an update on the water emergency. Some of this information is new and some has been included in our prior messages to campus, but the increased media attention has generated more questions so I thought it would be helpful to share some additional resources.

First, let me reinforce that the University of Michigan-Flint has taken all necessary measures to ensure drinking water on campus—in all facilities including classrooms, residence halls, childcare, and cooking facilities—is safe, filtered, and regularly tested.

We responded proactively as a campus starting in fall 2014 when the city issued a “boil water” advisory, and we have continued to quickly and thoroughly address water quality issues. Water filters have been installed across campus and the University continues quarterly water testing. The most recent tests were in October 2015, which found the water filters installed across campus are working and that campus water is safe.

It is clear that our water emergency is going to go on for some time. This is a tragedy that should not have happened. Although resources are now being committed to the community, we know it is going to take time to address the infrastructure issues, to set up care for the children who ingested lead, and to determine how to prevent this from ever happening again. The University will continue to work in partnership to identify needs and contribute our faculty expertise and our service in support of our community. This week Provost Doug Knerr and I will convene U-M faculty from across all three of our campuses here in Flint to help identify needs and areas where we might contribute expertise and service. President Mark Schlissel has committed $100,000 in seed funding for U-M research projects addressing the water crisis.

A secondary concern for the campus and the community is related to the impact this situation will have on our already fragile economy. Remember it was just a decade ago that area leaders pooled their money to begin rebuilding downtown, which now is frequented with Art Walks, Jazz nights, fine dining and a hopping social scene. I plan to redouble my efforts to support local businesses and restaurants, and I hope you will, too. Our support will make a positive difference.

Flint is a community of amazing and resilient people, and the University of Michigan-Flint has the good fortune of being located right downtown in a way that enhances our education. But the attention we are receiving has raised concerns and questions about our campus and our city. It is important for parents and prospective students to know that the University of Michigan-Flint is a great and safe place to be. For the past year and a half, I have heard enthusiastic support from both current students and alums. I have heard your love for this University, praising faculty support, and heartily endorsing your experience here. We need you as ambassadors.

Attached to this email you will find a fact sheet that answers the most frequently asked questions about campus water and our involvement. I want our entire campus community knowledgeable and able to answer these questions from anyone in our community.  I also invite you to continue to check the website for additional information. Our Campus Water Information page (http://umflint.edu/campus-water) now includes a frequently asked questions section and full list of filtered water locations on campus. It also is being updated regularly with additional information and resources.

As you continue to have ideas for how to help, please work with your deans so that we can incorporate your thoughts into our ongoing University response. If you are interested in participating in the community volunteer effort, please contact University Outreach at 810-424-5486 or pnas@umflint.edu. Outreach will work directly with the Red Cross to help coordinate our support.

It is a critical moment in the life of Flint and the University. Thank you for your willingness to step up and to lead in this time of crisis. As we work toward the future, we can all contribute to Flint’s strength and vibrancy. Thank you for supporting the university and our community.

Susan Borrego, Ph.D.
Chancellor

January 16th, 2016

Dear Campus Community:
 
President Barack Obama today declared a federal emergency in Flint in response to the ongoing water crisis. The University will examine in detail what that means to our campus and our community, but I wanted to make sure you were aware of the most recent development. The university will continue ongoing tests to ensure water quality and will maintain water filters installed over the last year on water fountains, break room faucets, water refill stations, and food prep sinks throughout campus — including, but not limited to, University Pavilion vendors, the Early Childhood Development Center, First Street Residence Hall and Riverfront Residence Hall. 
 
We also will continue to keep you up-to-date on information and invite you to find out more at the Campus Water Information webpage, which is available at umflint.edu
 
Sincerely, 
 
Susan E. Borrego, Ph.D.
Chancellor

January 14th, 2016

Dear Campus Community:
 
I write to you today knowing that we are a campus of problem solvers. We are committed to making a difference in our students’ lives and in our community. As you likely know, Flint is facing a public health emergency with the water crisis. I want you to know that as an institution we are committed to doing whatever it takes to ensure the safety of our students, our faculty, our staff, and our campus visitors. 
 
Water filters already are in use on water fountains, break room faucets, water refill stations, and food prep sinks across campus (this includes, but is not limited to, our vendors in the University Pavilion and Early Childhood Development Center). Please look for the water filter stickers, which indicate that a NSF 42 and 53 certified filter is in use. Filters will be replaced on an ongoing basis to ensure water quality. 
 
We remain committed to the ongoing testing of our water, which started more than a year ago. Results continue to show that the water filters are working. We also continue to monitor the impact of new safety concerns as they arise, including the reports of Legionnaire’s disease in Genesee County, and we will respond quickly as needed.
 
I also want you to know that we recognize that this is far more than a campus issue. We must work to ensure the safety and well-being of our community. Many of you already have stepped up to help — by distributing water filters, by leading efforts to educate our community, by organizing water giveaways, by volunteering to help test children’s lead levels, and by looking at your own areas of expertise to see how you might impact this complex problem we face as a community. Thank you for this effort and support. 
 
You can expect to see additional information in the coming days and months to keep you updated on this important issue. As we go forward, I urge all of us to know that collectively we can, we will, and we must make a difference. 
 
Sincerely, 
 
Susan E. Borrego, Ph.D.
Chancellor 

November 25th, 2015

Dear Campus Community, 

This is an update on the proactive measures being taken on campus to ensure water quality. We are able to report that water from operational drinking fountains on campus as well as break room sinks, kitchen sinks and food prep areas are filtered using NSF 42 and 53 certified filters.  

The Department of Environment, Health & Safety continues to monitor water quality. Twenty-eight samples were collected and analyzed recently from a variety of locations including unfiltered water mains entering buildings as well as various unfiltered/filtered hand sinks, and many filtered drinking fountains and water bottle refill stations located across the campus.

Results showed all 28 water samples were below the EPA maximum contaminant level (MCL) for total trihalomethanes, also called TTHMs. Two locations — both of which were samples taken from unfiltered locations and were not drinking water faucets (a hand-washing sink in the men’s bathroom in the basement of the Northbank Center south building and the WSW Building mechanical room main) — were  observed to be above MCL for lead. Immediate retesting and analysis showed levels below the MCL at both locations. 

While the City of Flint is transitioning to the Detroit water source (Lake Huron), the university will continue to monitor the water quality on campus and utilize/maintain filtering devices. For continued updates on water testing and water quality on campus check back to this page.

Thank you.
 
Mike Lane
Director
Environment, Health, and Safety

October 9th, 2015

Dear Campus Community:
 
As you may have heard, steps are being taken to change the City of Flint water source to improve the drinking water quality  within the city. While details about the water switch still are emerging, we expect it will take several weeks to implement. In the meantime, please continue following the Genesee County’s Health Advisory Recommendations encouraging the use of  filtered water as a precautionary measure.
 
Filtered water is available throughout campus at fountains and sinks on all floors of all university buildings marked with “filtered water” stickers. To date, more than 400 water filters have been purchased and installed throughout campus, which includes filters at First Street Residence Hall and filters provided for installation at the Riverfront Residence Hall.
 
We encourage students and employees living within the City of Flint to obtain a water filter that is National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) 42 and 53 certified for lead reduction for their homes.  Filters are available at the Genesee County Community Action Resource Department (GCCARD) offices at  2727 Lippincott and 601 N. Saginaw Street (across from the William S. White Building). Filters are also available for clients of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services at 1225 E. Union St. or 4809 Clio Road.
 
For more information on these distribution areas, voucher availability and identification requirements, please call the county hotline at 810-257-3158 or 211.
 
If you are interested in volunteering to help with water filter distribution, please call GCCARD at 810-789-4409.
 
Thank you.
 
Mike Lane
Director
Environment, Health, and Safety

October 6th, 2015

Dear Campus Community:

We came together with just 36 hours of planning to help distribute 3,000 water filters on Saturday to our neighbors. I am proud of the efforts of our faculty, staff and students. I am grateful to be on a campus with such commitment to community, with the expertise to coordinate such a massive effort and with a dedication to service.

Faculty, students, staff and several entire departments were on hand – at the last minute – to help with this effort and provide immediate help to our community. We received high praise from our friends at the Red Cross and United Way for providing organization, stability and leadership in our community.

This is just one more example of what makes the University of Michigan-Flint so special. Thank you.

Susan E. Borrego, PhD
Chancellor

October 1st, 2015

Dear Campus Community:

Genesee County has just issued the attached Public Health Emergency Declaration this afternoon. Among other things, the declaration states:

The County is issuing an Emergency Advisory recommending that people not drink the water coming in from the City of Flint using the Flint River as the water source unless:

  • It has been tested to assure it does not contain elevated levels of lead
  • It is being filtered through a National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) approved filter certified to remove lead that meets ANSI standard 53. 
  • We are fortunate that the university has been testing/monitoring the water quality on campus and proactively installing filters and/or filtered water.  

Where sampling, investigation and analysis have shown poor water quality exceeding the regulatory maximum contaminant levels, further testing, corrective actions and/or filtration has been installed (NSF 42 & 53). Additionally, the campus has and is continuing to aggressively install filtration in all remaining locations as an added measure of public health protection, even for fixtures that do not exceed MCLs. 

Special attention has been given to our youngest members on campus, including the installation of filters for the Early Childhood Development Center in June.
 
Environment, Health, and Safety will continue to conduct water testing and monitor water quality on campus. As always, if you have further questions please do not hesitate to contact me.
 
Mike Lane
Director, Environment, Health, and Safety
810-766-6763
mjlane@umflint.edu
 

September 25th, 2015

Dear Campus Community:
 
The University of Michigan-Flint began a voluntary water-testing regimen last fall. The University administers comprehensive water quality tests at 10-20 locations on a regular basis to monitor and ensure water quality throughout campus. This email provides an update on efforts by Environmental Health and Safety. Detailed information is below but highlights include:

  • UM-Flint hired an environmental consultant to conduct campus water quality tests. Analysis has consistently found lead amount below maximum contaminant levels and nondetectible lead levels in the vast majority of tests.
  • Where tests showed elevated concentrations of TTHMs, corrective measures were taken, such as: replacing fixtures/pipes; installing filtration devices; or converting water fountains to filtered bottle refill/drinking stations.
  • Filtered water is available throughout campus at water bottle refill stations. Filters at these stations remove all detectable levels of lead and TTHMs.
  • UM-Flint took additional proactive measures in ECDC, knowing that children are a medically vulnerable population.
  • UM-Flint will continue to install additional filtration units across campus, as well as voluntarily and aggressively test water to ensure its safety.

We are committed to ensuring the health and safety of members of our campus community.  Below follows the latest water quality update from Environment, Health, and Safety (EHS):

  • The University has completed another round of campus wide water quality testing.  The analytical results provided by the University’s independent environmental consultant show that the City of Flint water entering our campus water distribution system continues to be above the regulatory maximum contaminant levels (MCLs) for total trihalomethanes or TTHMs (see footnote) for some buildings.
  • The Northbank Center and White Building have TTHMs levels above the maximum contaminant levels, similar to previous sampling results. Filtered water is available in those buildings at labeled “filtered water” drinking fountains and water bottle refill stations.
  • Buildings on the south side of the campus registered levels of TTHMs below the maximum contaminant levels, with the exception of two drinking fountains that have been tagged out of service.
  • As far as the issue of lead, sampling events and analysis have demonstrated that water entering the campus water distribution system is below the MCL. As a matter of water quality testing protocol, if abnormal or potentially elevated results occur, corrective and protective measures will be taken.
  • Water used for consumption by the Early Childhood Development Center is filtered to remove TTHMs and lead.
  • Facilities & Operations and EHS are moving forward with increasing the number of filtration devices for fountains as well as increasing the number of water bottle refill stations with filtration available across campus.
  • The City of Flint has been contacted about the recent test results at the Northbank Center and White Building and has agreed to increase flushing water through local hydrants near the campus to improve general water quality.

If concerned about water quality, you may want to:

  1. Use bottled or filtered water and refill using one of the water bottle refill stations that are equipped with a water filtration unit.
  2. Consider a point-of-use water treatment system such as a pour through pitcher style unit.
  3. Other point-of-use filtration units may be considered, depending upon the specific application and circumstances.
  4. It is important to note that when selecting/purchasing any water filter device that it is certified by National Sanitation Foundation (NSF),  Underwriters Laboratories (UL) or the Water Quality Association (WQA) to remove TTHMs (look for the seals on the box).
  5. If interested in learning more about water quality testing, TTHMs and other related information, feel free to visit the GCHD, EPA, MDEQ and other websites below: 

http://www.gchd.us/docs/Trihalomethanes__Fact_Sheet__2_.pdf
http://www.michigan.gov/deq/0,4561,7-135----,00.html
http://water.epa.gov/drink/contaminants/basicinformation/disinfectionbyp...
 
EHS will continue to conduct water testing and monitor water quality on campus. As always, if you have further questions please do not hesitate to contact me.

Michael Lane
Director, Environment, Health, and Safety
University of Michigan-Flint
810-766-6763

June 25th, 2015

Dear Campus Community,
 
Environment, Health, and Safety (EHS) completed another round of campus-wide water quality testing.  The analytical results provided by the University’s independent environmental consultant demonstrated that the City of Flint water entering portions of our campus water distribution system and impacting some of the buildings is above the regulatory Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs) for total trihalomethanes or TTHMs.  
 
TTHMs are a byproduct of the chlorination process related to treating the water supply to ensure that the water is safe from pathogens and bacterial contaminants that could have an immediate and severe health effect.  As the Genesee County Health Department (GCHD) and other environmental regulatory agencies have indicated, studies suggest that elevated levels of total Trihalomethanes are not an immediate health concern to most people, but those with a severely compromised immune system, pregnant women, infants or elderly may have increased risks. It is important to note that these studies and related risk assessments associated with TTHMs are linked to continued exposure for decades of use/consumption and not necessarily short term exposure. 
                                                             
Even though the risks are associated with long term exposure, you may wish to  limit your exposure for the short term. There are a few recommendations that one might follow if concerned about total trihalomethanes (TTHMs):
Use bottled water and refill using one of the water bottle refill stations that are also equipped with water filtration unit. There are a number of water bottle refill stations that are located on campus that are equipped with filtration units.

  1. Consider a point-of-use water treatment system such as a pour through pitcher style unit.
  2. Other point-of-use filtration units may be considered, depending upon the specific application and circumstances.
  3. It is important to note that when selecting/purchasing any water filter device that it is certified by National Sanitation Foundation (NSF), Underwriters Laboratories (UL) or the Water Quality Association (WQA) to remove TTHMs (look for the seals on the box). 

The City of Flint has been contacted about the recent test results at some of our buildings and has agreed to increase flushing water through local hydrants near the campus to improve general water quality. Additionally, this summer the City is expected to install activated carbon filtration at the water treatment plant outflow which is anticipated to dramatically reduce the TTHM concentrations for the Flint community.

If interested in learning more about water quality testing, TTHMs and other related information, feel free to visit the GCHD, EPA, MDEQ and other websites below.
 
http://www.gchd.us/docs/Trihalomethanes__Fact_Sheet__2_.pdf
http://www.michigan.gov/deq/0,4561,7-135----,00.html
http://water.epa.gov/drink/contaminants/basicinformation/disinfectionbyp...

EHS will continue to conduct water testing on campus later this summer/fall. As always, if you have further questions please do not hesitate to contact me.

Michael Lane
Director, Environment, Health, and Safety University of Michigan-Flint
810-766-6763
mjlane@umflint.edu

April 24th, 2015

Dear Campus Community,
 
Environment, Health, and Safety (EHS) completed another round of campus-wide water quality testing.  The analytical results (including total trihalomethanes or TTHMs) provided by the University’s independent environmental consultant demonstrated that the City of Flint water entering our campus water distribution system is below the regulatory Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs) and acceptable to drink.  
 
Additionally, the earlier water quality issues identified in the Northbank Center (NBC) buildings not associated with the City water supply but related to elevated lead have been further investigated and being mitigated.  Facilities & Operations and EHS have worked closely with NBC Management and occupants to implement a corrective action plan.  In some cases, the fixtures, valves and piping have been replaced, and or a point of use (POU) water filtration units have been installed and retesting of the units by a third party to verify that the filters are working properly have occurred.  
 
NBC building occupants have been reminded to continue to flush water prior to use, only use the drinking fountains and kitchen sinks for consumptive use and do not use restroom sinks for drinking water purposes.
 
As always, if you have further questions please do not hesitate to contact me.

Michael Lane
Director, Environment, Health, and Safety University of Michigan-Flint
810-766-6763
mjlane@umflint.edu

February 6th, 2015

Dear Campus Community,
 
Environment, Health, and Safety (EHS) has received a few inquiries about my recent January 24th e-mail communication.  To help further clarify the status of water conditions, the raw analytical results (including trihalomethanes or THMs) provided by an independent consultant demonstrated that the City of Flint water entering our campus water distribution is below the regulatory Maximum Contaminant Limits (MCLs) and acceptable to drink.   
 
However, in the first round of sampling there were two isolated fountains within two separate buildings where the test data initially showed poor water quality. EHS shut down those fountains, retested and continues to investigate.  The two fountain locations were the third floor Northbank Center (NBC) South building hallway and the Central Energy Plant on the first floor.
 
A second round of testing of NBC South building kitchen sinks and fountains consisted of an initial water sample drawn followed by a second sample drawn after the water was flushed and purged through the fixtures.   Results from some of the initial water draws showed an elevated lead concentration.  However, after water was flushed/purged through the fixtures sample results were either non-detect or below the lead action level, with only one exception.  The results from sinks and fountains that were identified as seldom or rarely used which allows for water to sit for long periods of time, had the highest observed concentrations.  A third round of “first draw” sampling was conducted last week on drinking fountains and kitchen sinks on the first, second and third floors in NBC South Building. Although, more than half of the sample results were below the lead action level, the third floor hallway fountains and second floor sinks continue to show elevated lead concentrations and will require further action and corrective measures.  Kitchen sinks and fountains being investigated /tested have and will remain tagged out of service “Do Not Use/Water Sampling In Progress” until further data is available and the investigation of the water distribution system in those areas is complete.
 
Until further notice and until more data is available,  NBC South building occupants impacted by this situation have been cautioned to flush water prior to use, only use the water for cleaning purposes and not for consumption, do not use restroom sinks for drinking water, and do not use sinks or fountains that remain tagged out of service.  NBC Management and EHS have worked with impacted offices to identify alternative drinking water sources.
 
EHS & Facilities & Operations continue to investigate the water distribution in the building. The analytical data as well as further insight into the condition and configuration of the piping in NBC South will be helpful to better understand the conditions and determine best corrective measures for the areas observed to have poor water quality.
 
As always, if you have further questions please do not hesitate to contact me,  EHS: 810-766-6763; or mjlane@umflint.edu
 
Mike Lane
UM-Flint Environment, Health, and Safety

February 5th, 2015

To Northbank Center South Building Tenants,

This is an update to the verbal communications during the week of January 26th between Environment, Health, and Safety (EHS), Northbank Center Management and your respective offices in which occupants were notified of poor water quality in the NBC South building and the need to tag out kitchen faucets and fountains in the South building for additional testing.

Although the initial analytical results (including trihalomethanes or THMs) provided to the university by an independent consultant associated with water testing conducted earlier in January demonstrated that the City of Flint water entering our campus water distribution is below the regulatory Maximum Contaminant Limits (MCLs) and acceptable to drink, there were a few results in the first round of sampling that indicated poor water quality in two isolated areas of campus which required additional follow up investigation. One of these specific areas included a fountain on the third floor Northbank Center (NBC) South building hallway for which the results identified an elevated level of lead.  As you may be aware, additional rounds of water testing was conducted over the last two weeks on drinking fountains and kitchen sinks on the first, second and third floors in NBC South Building to further delineate specific areas of poor water quality in the building.

The second round of testing of NBC South building kitchen sinks and fountains consisted of an initial water sample drawn followed by a second sample drawn after the water was flushed and purged through the fixtures.  Results from some of the initial water draws showed an elevated lead concentration.  However, after water was flushed/purged through the fixtures sample results were either non-detect or below the lead action level, with only one exception.  The results from sinks and fountains that were identified as seldom or rarely used which allows for water to sit for long periods of time, had the highest observed concentrations.  A third round of “first draw” sampling was conducted last week on drinking fountains and kitchen sinks on the first, second and third floors in NBC South Building.  Although, more than half of the sample results were below the lead action level, the third floor hallway fountains and second floor sinks continue to show elevated lead concentrations and will require further action and corrective measures.  Kitchen sinks and fountains being investigated/tested have and will remain tagged out of service “Do Not Use/Water Sampling In Progress” until further data is available and the investigation of the water distribution system in those areas is complete.

Until further notice and until more data is available, NBC South building occupants impacted by this situation are cautioned to flush water prior to use, only use the water for cleaning purposes and not for consumption, do not use restroom sinks for drinking water, and do not use sinks or fountains that remain tagged out of service.  NBC Management and EHS have worked with impacted offices to identify alternative drinking water sources.

EHS & Facilities & Operations continue to investigate the water distribution in the building.  The analytical data as well as further insight into the condition and configuration of the piping in NBC South will be helpful to better understand the conditions and determine best corrective measures for the areas observed to have poor water quality.

As always, if you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact me by telephone 810-766-6763; or email mjlane@umflint.edu or stop by the EHS office in 801 NBC.

Mike Lane
UM-Flint Environment, Health, and Safety

January 24th, 2015

Dear Campus Community,
 
This is a follow up to previous campus communications addressing water quality.
                                                                                                                
EHS has received the raw analytical results from our independent water testing conducted earlier this month. The results (including trihalomethanes or THMs) are below the Maximum Contaminant Limits (MCLs).
 
EHS anticipates the final comprehensive written report that will accompany the laboratory results from the consultant who performed the testing early next week. 
 
EHS will continue to test the water that is used on campus every 4-6 weeks and monitor any changes or trends. If there are any issues that are found as a result of the testing, that information will be communicated to the campus. 
 
If you have further questions or interested in reviewing the results, please do not hesitate to contact me,  EHS: 810-766-6763; or mjlane@umflint.edu
 
Thank you.
 
Mike Lane
UM-Flint Environment, Health, and Safety

January 13th, 2015

Dear Campus Community,
 
You may be aware of the recent announcement by the City of Flint that the water system was in a non-emergency violation of a drinking water standard. The full announcement from the City is attached.
 
Both the City and the Genesee County Health Department have reassured citizens that it is safe to use city water and that corrective actions are not necessary. Regular testing of the water supply continues to take place to ensure usability and consumption is safe for citizens. The City has indicated that there is nothing individuals need to do unless you have a severely compromised immune system, have an infant, or are elderly.  In that case, they recommend that you may be at an increased risk and should seek advice about the drinking water from your health care provider.
 
The University will be conducting monthly tests of the water that is used on campus. If there are any issues that are found as a result of the testing, that information will be communicated to the campus.
 
Generally speaking, there are no immediate actions that need to be taken by individuals regarding the safety of water in the City. In conversations that the UM-Flint Office of Environment, Health, and Safety (EHS) has had with the Genesee County Health Department, there are  a few recommendations that one might follow if concerned about total trihalomethanes (TTHMs):

  1. Use bottled water or
  2. Install point-of-use home water treatment systems on delivery lines in the house (faucet mount, pour through pitcher style, and plumbed-in units)
  3. It is important to note that when selecting/purchasing any water filter device that it is certified by National Sanitation Foundation (NSF), Underwriters Laboratories (UL) or the Water Quality Association (WQA) to remove TTHMs (look for the seals on the box). The filters could be a pitcher style or a point of use treatment filter that can be mounted to the faucet, under the sink or on the counter top. These treatment devices are widely available for purchase at houseware or hardware stores.

If you have further questions, the EHS in collaboration with our campus student environmental club, Future Urban & Environment Leaders (F.U.E.L.) plan to host a brownbag luncheon discussion in the near future.  All faculty, students, and staff are welcome to attend. Additionally, please feel free to contact the City of Flint or the County Health Department directly, if you so choose. 
 
Thank you.
 
Mike Lane
UM-Flint Environment, Health, and Safety

September 8th, 2014

Dear Campus Community,

Over the weekend, a Boil Water Advisory was issued by the Flint Utilities Department and the Department of Environmental Quality.  The Office of Environment, Health, and Safety (EHS) has checked with the city, and they have indicated that UM-Flint is not impacted by the current Boil Water Advisory and the water is safe for use for drinking. The areas in Flint affected by the Boil Water Advisory are north and east of the campus.

Please feel free to contact EHS  at 810-766-6763 or Facilities and Operations at 810-762-3223 if there are any additional concerns.

Thank you.

Jennifer Hogan
Executive Director of University Relations
University of Michigan-Flint
810.237.6570
jhogan@umflint.edu