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Searching for a potentially new problem in Flint's water

Oct 16, 2015

Virginia Tech researchers are back in Flint testing the city’s water.

Virginia Tech researchers shared this photo they say they took while sampling water at McLaren hospital in Flint
Credit Virginia Tech University

This time they’re looking for bacteria that can lead to a variety of illnesses, including Legionnaires' disease.   

Our initial sampling did not find a worse problem in Flint than in other cities, but we are looking harder, before the switch (back to water from Detroit),” says Marc Edwards, with Virginia Tech University.

Another researcher says Flint could already be “ground zero” for the problem because water sits too long in the system. 

“The multiplication of opportunistic pathogens in drinking water supplies does pose a threat to public health,” says Dr. Zigmond Kozicki, an associate professor of health administration at the University of Detroit Mercy. 

Kozicki wants the state to study drinking water at Flint hospitals, schools and other locations to see if there are higher than acceptable levels of bacteria in the water.