Boil filtered water advisory issued for entire city of Flint

Published: May. 25, 2018 at 3:23 PM EDT
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(5/25/2018) - Everyone connected to the city of Flint's water system is urged to filter and boil their water after a transmission main broke Friday.

The break occurred in a 24-inch main near the General Motors plant at 12th Street and Van Slyke Road. It caused a large-scale depressurization, which may have allowed bacteria into the system.

Rob Bincsik, Flint's director of public works, decided to issue the city-wide boil filtered water advisory as a precaution. The advisory covers the whole city, because officials aren't sure how far the depressurization spread.

“At this time the full area of depressurization is unknown, so we are issuing the boil water notice city wide,” said Bincsik.

The boil water advisory will remain in effect for at least 48 hours until two samples taken 24 hours apart and allowed to sit for 24 hours come back free of bacterial contamination. The earliest it would be lifted is Sunday.

“Bacteriological samples are being taken and if samples come back negative we expect to lift the boil water advisory after 24 hours,” Bincsik said.

All residents in the city of Flint are urged to filter their water and then bring it to a boil for seven minutes before using it for drinking, cooking, brushing teeth or washing dishes.

Filtering before boiling is important, because boiling water with excessive lead or metals could cause the contaminants to concentrate and cause worse harmful effects.

Filtered unboiled water is still OK for washing clothes and other uses that don't bring it in direct contact with skin.

Westbound 12th Street was closed at Hammerburg Road on Friday afternoon while crews worked to repair the leak. The break was quickly isolated from the system, so all customers have water service.

The boil filtered water advisory is only in effect for users on the city of Flint's water system. Surrounding towns and townships are not affected.