Contaminated Water - Could It Happen Here?


Decatur – The water crisis in Flint, Michigan has gained worldwide attention as the city struggles with a contaminated water supply.  Could a similar problem happen in a city like Decatur?

“I am here to tell you with a 99.9% degree of certainty that’s not going to happen,” city water director Keith Alexander told a Decatur Rotary Club on Monday.  “We do over a thousand tests per week and that is in addition to monthly, quarterly and annual testing that the state EPA requires us to do.”

Flint’s water is testing positive for lead.  The problems developed after that city switched from using water from Detroit to pulling water from the Flint River in a cost cutting effort.  Flint failed to put anti corrosive agents in the water which caused lead to leach from pipes.  The water is no longer safe to drink.

In Decatur the water has calcium carbonate when it leaves the water treatment plant.

“We soften Lake Decatur’s water as part of our purification process,” Alexander told WAND’s Doug Wolfe.  “That calcium carbonate coats the insides of water mains, the water service lines and even the internal plumbing in your home, all the way to your tap, to prevent things like leaching in the water before you get it to drink.”

It’s not known how long Flint’s water supply will be contaminated.  The FBI is now investigating to see if there was any criminal wrong doing in the handling of the water crisis.

(Pictured: Keith Alexander)

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