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  • #16
    Thanks all, for that detailed information.
    The pH today in Flint is more than 7.4.
    The water is presently being pumped to Flint from Detroit.
    I have read that orthophosphate ( I think) is being added in Flint to promote re-coating, following the acidic water from Flint River.
    We are using lead rated filters at the kitchen faucet.
    The coffee tastes a little bitter!

    Fire hydrants are left partially open at the end of the water mains in subdivision:
    This one has been like this for about 2 years.
    https://app.box.com/s/vtnkswzag2ea64ufuryk3yuw7chy6t1x

    Apart from lead pipes, there are two other problems reported in Flint
    1) The population has reduced from about 200,000 in the peak times ( to 1970's)
    maybe to about 100,000 now.
    So the water flow is low, leading to the chlorine not working in the destination houses.
    2) Leakage from lack of maintenance. I was astonished to read the % leakage of the water pumped from Detoit
    Added to by the flushing from hydrants.

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    • #17
      I don't think I ever have seen a lead pipe. I thought I had, but by the description I dont think so.
      I do remember seeing a lead cap, think they ma stil use them , and the blowtorch with pot they used to solder them.

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      • #18
        remote chance a child will drink from a hose
        "Remote" ? I'd say "Inevitable." Who of us as a kid never drank from a garden hose?
        "A machinist's (WHAP!) best friend (WHAP! WHAP!) is his hammer. (WHAP!)" - Fred Tanner, foreman, Lunenburg Foundry and Engineering machine shop, circa 1979

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        • #19
          Originally posted by mickeyf View Post
          "Remote" ? I'd say "Inevitable." Who of us as a kid never drank from a garden hose?
          True
          I remember doing it in Australia, until I got a mouth full of Huntsman spider.
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huntsman_spider

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          • #20
            Final Photos of the job here in Flint.
            Today I noticed the sawn off lead pipe on pieces waiting to be taken away.
            I took these photos with my vintage Pentax macro zoom.
            Photos show the pipe cross section and the coating inside the pipe.
            https://app.box.com/s/drck9355fejbrku9c60li4n1nv5clysr
            https://app.box.com/s/0cg6ltc6zwuoeaypjdmwlrlp4ai8lpos

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            • #21
              Am I right that the problem was known for years by everyone including the Fed EPA thus Flint bought water from Detroit because Flints water destroyed the coating that had accumulated inside the pipes & blocked the lead leeching until Flint was assigned a state manager who changed the process & started using the Flint River? I have a friend who was in charge of all Detroit water in & outgoing that retired before the switch occurred.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Weston Bye View Post
                I recall a section of video that ran repeatedly on ABC 12 News showing a service replacement. The service was changed to copper up to the water box valve at the curb, but there was the section of pipe on the other side of the valve, between the valve and the main, that appeared to be older and possibly lead, and presumably not being replaced. I fear that some "Expert" has made the judgement that the short section of lead pipe was a lower percentage and an acceptable risk. Certainly hope I am mistaken.

                I come from an excavating family that installed a lot of water mains in some neighborhoods in Flint and neighboring Burton in the mid-sixties, and am intimately familiar with the pipe materials and methods. No lead was involved at that time, ductile iron mains with neoprene seals at the bell-and-spigot joints between the lengths of pipe and Neoprene sealed compression joints at tees and hydrants.

                The services were drilled and tapped into the pressurized mains with a clever water lock chamber that incorporated a big ball valve and a wrench-turned drill-tap (NPT) spindle that worked through a gland: the chamber with a rubber seal would be clamped onto the main with a chain, the ball valve opened and the spindle extended through the ball to drill and tap the hole, and then withdrawn and the ball valve closed. The spindle would be removed from the chamber and replaced with a similar spindle with a service valve screwed onto the end. The ball valve was then opened and the service valve spindle extended through the ball and the service valve screwed into the newly-threaded hole. The whole contraption was then removed, leaving the service valve behind, maybe leaking a little from the threads, to be wrenched to full engagement and valve stem position.

                I am hoping that the video clip I mentioned above was only half the story and that the crews replaced the lead line between the valve box at the curb and the valve on the main in the middle of the street or across the street as a second step.

                It appears from the pictures wombat posted that they did things right.
                This reminds me of one of those ironic things that stick in the brain. I used to install water mains and on one job as I went by I had to connect up a commercial building to the new water main. It was a company that sprayed lawns with those fertilizer tanker trucks and required a 2 inch line. I installed the 2 inch copper line, 2 inch curb box, 2 inch meter, backflow preventer, etc and the water company did the tap with the tap box. They made a 3/4 inch tap????

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                • #23
                  Health effects aside, it's apparent how durable the lead is.. been in the ground a long time.
                  Sure would melt well into my casting pot...
                  paul
                  ARS W9PCS

                  Esto Vigilans

                  Remember, just because you can doesn't mean you should...
                  but you may have to

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Ridgerunner View Post
                    This reminds me of one of those ironic things that stick in the brain. I used to install water mains and on one job as I went by I had to connect up a commercial building to the new water main. It was a company that sprayed lawns with those fertilizer tanker trucks and required a 2 inch line. I installed the 2 inch copper line, 2 inch curb box, 2 inch meter, backflow preventer, etc and the water company did the tap with the tap box. They made a 3/4 inch tap????
                    Larger sizes of branch piping often use a mechanical saddle tee instead of a direct tapped connection. The saddle is installed and pressure tested and the corporation cock is installed, which will in all likely hood never be seen again until the main comes out of the ground.
                    The hole is drilled thought the open valve. The dill is then withdrawn past the valve but still sealed from the outside world and the valve is turned off.

                    Stay dry, my friends...
                    paul
                    ARS W9PCS

                    Esto Vigilans

                    Remember, just because you can doesn't mean you should...
                    but you may have to

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by flylo View Post
                      Am I right that the problem was known for years by everyone including the Fed EPA thus Flint bought water from Detroit because Flints water destroyed the coating that had accumulated inside the pipes & blocked the lead leeching until Flint was assigned a state manager who changed the process & started using the Flint River? I have a friend who was in charge of all Detroit water in & outgoing that retired before the switch occurred.
                      Not really. Although it was known that lead service existed, it also exists in any older city ... including Lansing, GR and K-zoo.
                      Flint had been buying treated water from Detroit since the late '60s, or early '70's. They had also been running their own water treatment plant 2x per month to keep it operational, as a backup. Guess where they were getting that water? The Flint River.
                      The water treatment facility in Flint did not have (and had not been using) an appropriate water treatment program. They were not adequately adjusting the pH of the outgoing water, and I also think I recall were not using some type of anti-corrosion additive. So they had been screwing up 2x per month for 50 years ... which apparently was not enough to unleash the chain reaction. But start treating 100% of the water incorrectly, the low pH eats at the built up coating in the pipes and "the genie is out of the bottle" ... and they are in the predicament that we have today.

                      The root cause here is really the ineptness of the mgmt. folks running the water treatment plant. The delays, and somewhat of a cover up ... that's another issue.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Have to wonder how there is still lead piping in use anywhere in sort of civilised world.
                        AFAIK the risks have been known for centuries, around here it has been banned and replaced over 100 years ago.
                        Location: Helsinki, Finland, Europe

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by MattiJ View Post
                          Have to wonder how there is still lead piping in use anywhere in sort of civilised world.
                          AFAIK the risks have been known for centuries, around here it has been banned and replaced over 100 years ago.
                          Because money.

                          As in, the councils/states won't pay the money.

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                          • #28
                            Thanks Mister ED, that's pretty much the story I was told but who decided to start using water from the Flint river & drop buying it from Detroit as the had for years? It will come out of my pocket somehow as usual.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Mister ED View Post
                              Not really. Although it was known that lead service existed, it also exists in any older city ... including Lansing, GR and K-zoo.
                              Flint had been buying treated water from Detroit since the late '60s, or early '70's. They had also been running their own water treatment plant 2x per month to keep it operational, as a backup. Guess where they were getting that water? The Flint River.
                              The water treatment facility in Flint did not have (and had not been using) an appropriate water treatment program. They were not adequately adjusting the pH of the outgoing water, and I also think I recall were not using some type of anti-corrosion additive. So they had been screwing up 2x per month for 50 years ... which apparently was not enough to unleash the chain reaction. But start treating 100% of the water incorrectly, the low pH eats at the built up coating in the pipes and "the genie is out of the bottle" ... and they are in the predicament that we have today.

                              The root cause here is really the ineptness of the mgmt. folks running the water treatment plant. The delays, and somewhat of a cover up ... that's another issue.
                              Re inept water utilities:

                              The cryptosporidium outbreak in Milwaukee in 1993 was ultimately caused by a change in the filtration chemistry. They changed the floculant in an effort to reduce the water main corrosion that the old floculant caused. I don't know at what rate the corrosion was occurring, but it represented a portion of the repair expenses for the utility, I believe it was primarily in the older cast iron mains rather than the newer ductile iron piping. Milwaukee was too hidebound to use PVC water mains, which most of the neighboring communities used. very old school.

                              The company that I worked for at the time had the contract to replace and rebuilt the filtration plants which also included a new ozone system. It was a great job, and it lasted for about 5 years... that’s pretty long in construction time. The part you never heard about was the return to the old floculant... Stuff that never makes the newspaper is common knowledge amongst the construction crews. We are always trying to stay on good terms with the maintenance folks, so coffee and doughnut chats turn up some interesting facts.

                              Let's add one more thing to worry about. One of the solutions to water impurities is a reverse osmosis filter system. They do exactly what they advertise... but in doing so they create another problem. The water that they produce is so pure that it begins dissolving whatever you put it in... that's what PURE water does. If the system that you use includes a re-mineralizer your are in luck. This reintroduces known good minerals to the water. It taste's better. If you have ever tasted distilled water, after it's cooled down of course, it tastes 'off'. No minerals.
                              The RO water will dissolve more minerals, but in the case of human consumption they come from your body. How serious this is depends on how much water you drink.

                              There are plenty of minerals in beer. :>)
                              paul
                              ARS W9PCS

                              Esto Vigilans

                              Remember, just because you can doesn't mean you should...
                              but you may have to

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Many references in this thread to new PVC pipes. I thought that pvc was less desirable option but maybe not so bad then?
                                AFAIK pretty much all the piping around here is Polyethylene since sixties or something.
                                And Plumbing in new houses is almost entirely xlpe pipes instead of copper. (Not that those are entirely trouble free either, there has been also some cases that chemichals are leaching off the xlpe pipe material)
                                Location: Helsinki, Finland, Europe

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