The Water Quality Association (WQA) is offering informational resources to help with the drinking water crisis in Flint, MI. Residents are expected to receive federal aid to help ensure their access to safe drinking water. On January 16, President Obama signed an Emergency Declaration for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to coordinate all disaster- relief efforts. The declaration states that, “This emergency assistance is to provide water, water filters, water filter cartridges, water test kits and other necessary related items for a period of no more than 90 days.”
Lead (Pb) has been identified as the waterborne contaminant of primary concern for Flint’s residents. To minimize the presence of contaminants such as lead, which may enter the water after it has left a municipal treatment facility, WQA recommends water treatment equipment that has been certified by an ANSI (American National Standards Institute)-accredited certification body. Flint residents are encouraged to visit the WQA website to search for the names of products certified by WQA for lead reduction. It is important consumers follow the manufacturer’s instructions for maintenance. WQA also lists of water treatment professionals across the US on its website.
Members of the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) continue to respond to the ongoing lead-contaminated water crisis in Flint, which is affecting 100,000 families. IBWA member companies – including Absopure, Flint Culligan, Maumee Valley Bottlers, Nestle Waters North America (NWNA) and Niagara – have so far donated the equivalent of 1.5 million bottles of bottled water.
Bottlers are working with state, county and municipal emergency management agencies and emergency relief partners like Convoy of Hope to provide bottled water to those in need. IBWA member companies are also coordinating donations through the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan, directly with the City of Flint and partnering with local media outlets such as FOX 2 Detroit and iHeartMedia Detroit.
In addition, a major effort was just announced by NWNA, Walmart, Coke, and Pepsi, to provide up to 6.5 million bottles of water for approximately 10,000 Flint public school students through the end of 2016. The companies also encourage the public to get involved by visiting www.good360.org/flint to make donations that will go directly to local non-profits serving the community.
“IBWA has also offered its assistance to Michigan Governor Rick Snyder and Flint Mayor Karen Weaver. Our continuing efforts are focused on helping provide Flint residents impacted by the lead-contaminated public water supply with reliable access to safe drinking water. Safe, clean drinking water is important to everyone’s survival, but public water supplies are compromised, bottled water is a necessary, vital and reliable source of clean, safe drinking water,” said Joe Doss, IBWA President and CEO.
“The ongoing crisis in Flint, the emerging situation in Sebring, Ohio, and public water system problems in other US cities, underscore the importance of having access to safe, drinkable water. The United States has the safest water supply in the world. And, the bottled water industry has long supported strong, reliable, public water systems. But, when clean tap water is unavailable, the bottled water industry has been, and will always be, there to ensure that people have access to safe, quality, water,” said Doss.
Emergency preparedness guidelines issued by the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recommend that all households maintain an emergency supply of water — at least one gallon per person per day for three days — for drinking, cooking and personal hygiene. The DHS guidelines specifically recommend that consumers purchase commercially bottled water. To learn more about bottled water, please visit IBWA’s website.