Poor record keeping to blame for inaccurate water testing

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FLINT (WJRT) - (11/13/15) - The picture gets more confusing as more details emerge about what caused Flint's water emergency.

This week, how lead testing was done is being questioned after the city admited some mistakes were made.

“The main and ultimate goal is to determine lead everywhere out in the system,” said Flint Utilities Administrator Mike Glasgow.

Right now, they don't have much to go on to find out just how widespread the lead problem is. Glasgow said that's because of poor record keeping about the city's infrastructure.

“A lot of these pipes and a lot of this info was recorded 40, 50, 70 years ago,” Glasgowsaid.

Because of this, Glasgow says water sampling was done inaccurately.

Through the Freedom of Information Act, ABC12 obtained documents that show lead testing done earlier this year was conducted mostly at homes with copper service lines.

Testing should have focused on homes with lead service lines, which are most at risk for lead exposure.

“Without the ability to access the plumbing, it kind of floated over the radar,” Glasgow said.

Glasgow said there was no intent to misreport their samplings to the Department of Environmental Quality.

They're now working with the University of Michigan to organize the 80,000 files that hold valuable information about the city's pipes.

“We want the citizens to feel we are doing the best we can to protect their health, so that is our number one priority,” Glasgow said.

It will takes months, if not years, to get through all of those files.

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