First Trinity Missionary Baptist Church has been one of the reliable hubs in Flint for residents to get safe drinking water via single serve bottled water. On designated days, residents line up in their cars, sometime for hours, to receive the water.
The logistics and heavy lifting, conducted voluntarily by the church deacons, is taxing and finite. And, because Flint isn't in the news as it once was, the amount of water donated has plummeted. As an added challenge, the state of Michigan ended its free water program in Flint making the churches mission even harder for a community suffering through a prolonged water crisis.
The water is tested every time the Water Box is used for a variety of aspects including PH, TDS, and Lead by the system operators. Additionally, the water is tested for microbiological content by Michigan accredited third-party laboratories to ensure the water is clean and safe. Daily tests for lead and microbiological contaminants are conducted and reported on a weekly basis. For added assurance: Quarterly Third Party testing for lead, microbiological contaminants and other heavy metals is conducted.
PH: A measure of how acidic/basic water is. The range goes from 0 - 14, with 7 being neutral. Drinking water must have a pH value of6.5-8.5 to fall within EPA standards.
TDS (Total Dissolved Solids): A measure of the combined total of organic and inorganic substances contained in the water. Thesesolids are primarily minerals, salts and organic matter that can be a general indicator of water quality. ‘Excellent’ drinking water shouldhave a TDS under 300mg/L. The EPA’s recommended maximum level of TDS in water is 500mg/L.
Lead: EPA has set the maximum contaminant level goal for lead in drinking water at zero because lead is a toxic metal that can beharmful to human health even at low exposure levels. The lowest threshold we can measure is 0.001mg/L, and we will report any valuesabout this. If levels above .0015mg/L are detected, service from The Water Box will be suspended.
Coliform: A group of 16 species of bacteria used to indicate water quality. The presence of Coliform indicates bacteria that may beharmful. We will report the presence of any coliform in the water, and conduct further test to determine if the species is a harmful one. Ifcoliform are detected, water service from The Water Box will be suspended.
PSI: A measurement of the pressure at each filter, which we track and use to determine if the filters requires maintenance.
GAL: Indicates the number of gallons of water that have been processed through the system.
Flint needs more water jugs and more Water Boxes. You can donate a jug to First Trinity Church and Sylvester Broome Empowerment Village in Flint and they will distribute your gift to a resident in the community.
If you or your organization would like to sponsor an entire Water Box in Flint or elsewhere, please reach out to 501CTHREE at the link below.