Poison tap water

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Submitted by FlyerInHi on January 22, 2016 - 4:16pm

We have some scientifically minded people here. Maybe you could help explain a few things.

So, about the tap water in Flint, MI, the press reports are very lacking in my opinion.

What exactly makes Flint River water corrosive?
What anti-corrosion agent should they added to the water? And are those agents dangerous to health?

Seems like the kind of thing we expect to happen in China or Russia, but not in the United States.

Submitted by PCinSD on January 22, 2016 - 4:21pm.
Submitted by FlyerInHi on January 22, 2016 - 5:20pm.

Thanks for the google search.
I read some articles, but nothing in the mainstream press is detailed.

Corrosive? At least explain why.
Treatment agents? At least name the chemicals.

Oftentimes, journalists just repeat things and don't report shit.

This quote is interesting. The city knew that Flint River water was not good. If not, then why even bother planning to get water from Lake Huron if the Flint River is right there?

As a cost-cutting move, the city began temporarily drawing its drinking water from the Flint River and treating it at the city water treatment plant while it waited for a new water pipeline to Lake Huron to be completed.
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/natio...

I looked at some picture of Flint. What a depressing place!

Submitted by FlyerInHi on January 22, 2016 - 5:24pm.

I wonder if anyone will go to jail over this.
We will see what the American justice system delivers.

In China, a few officials would probably get executed over something like this.

Submitted by spdrun on January 22, 2016 - 6:17pm.

... depends if they bribed the right people, of course.

Submitted by moneymaker on January 22, 2016 - 6:35pm.

At least it wasn't hexavalent chromium, like in the movie Erin Brockovich. It's an oxidation inhibitor I think. Causes cancer but lead is pretty bad too. Pretty sure my RO system filters out both of these things.

Submitted by ucodegen on January 23, 2016 - 12:31am.

Not quite as simple as all of that.. Distilled water is highly corrosive, so is RO. In San Diego, the water is not that corrosive due to all the minerals in the water (hard water from the Colorado River).

If you notice, a lot of RO systems use PEX piping on their output. This is because PEX is corrosion resistant. I suspect that the river water is not as 'hard' as Detroit water, therefore it will corrode metal.

http://www.wwdmag.com/channel/casestudie...
http://ths.gardenweb.com/discussions/252...
https://www.corrosionpedia.com/definitio...

Submitted by moneymaker on January 23, 2016 - 7:12am.

FlyerInHi wrote:

In China, a few officials would probably get executed over something like this.

I think most places in China probably have at least the 27 ppb that Flint has in their drinking water already and nobody is saying anything. Seems to me that most everything from China sold in CA has a lead warning on it, yet they still sell it! China mines over half of the worlds lead every year and they use 44.5% of lead used in the world.

Submitted by no_such_reality on January 23, 2016 - 8:55am.

FlyerInHi wrote:
I wonder if anyone will go to jail over this.
We will see what the American justice system delivers.

In China, a few officials would probably get executed over something like this.

It's corrosive because the rivers and streams have fairly high levels of chloride in them. You know chloride, the same compound use to treat the water for pathogens.

They have old infrastructure and aren't using anti corrosive agents in the water. It's that simple.

As for why is the river higher in chloride, the knee jerk finger point is road salt being partially being responsible.

So this man made disaster is really simple, the water agency didn't do basic water agency duties.

And every winter, our northern cities basically salt their earth.

Submitted by spdrun on January 23, 2016 - 9:12am.

Solution to this is simple. Plow, sand, mandate winter tires. No need for salt in most cases. If someone without snow tires crashes and burns with snow falling, don't render aid and fine their estate $10,000.

Submitted by bearishgurl on January 23, 2016 - 2:27pm.

spdrun wrote:
Solution to this is simple. Plow, sand, mandate winter tires. No need for salt in most cases. If someone without snow tires crashes and burns with snow falling, don't render aid and fine their estate $10,000.

I tend to agree ... except for not rendering aid and the fine, lol. People who live in snowy climes need to have a studded set of tires and also cables/chains if they don't have 4WD/AWD. Also, they need to carry a "winter kit" with them at all times consisting of down sleeping bag(s), tire cables/chains, bungee cords, an old rug, disposable lighters, flashlight(s), shovel, flares, anti-freeze, and filled sandbags (if driving a lightweight vehicle). Did I miss anything?

If living in the mtns, the winter kit should be carried at least 8 months per year, depending on locale.

Submitted by bearishgurl on January 23, 2016 - 9:15pm.

bearishgurl wrote:
...Did I miss anything?

Ice scraper and a snow brush for the vehicle. Carrying a portable battery charger is a good idea, as well.

Submitted by bearishgurl on January 23, 2016 - 9:40pm.

Back to the OP ... this problem isn't exclusive to MI. There are areas of the southwest (flyover country) which have had "rusty" tap water for years. (Don't know if its actually contaminated with lead.) I suspect the nearby fracking operations dumping into the nearby tributaries are major contributors to this problem. Again, it is the local governmental water quality personnel who are falling down on their duties in this region.

The citizens of CA are fortunate in that we have (overzealous?) environmental agencies who are constantly on top of any instances of pollution (i.e. warnings of ocean water pollution from Mexican sewage runoff into SD County) as well as all other aspects of our environment.

Complain all you want about how this is "bad for business" but before doing so, please consider the alternative. You need look no further than other states (with less conscientious gubment agencies to protect the environment) to see what happens in the absence of a high level of regulatory oversight in place.

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