Chief: Flint water so corrosive it damaged fire engines, endangered sprinklers

Fire

Water from the Flint River was so corrosive that it has damaged Flint’s fire trucks and may have endangered sprinkler systems in homes, businesses and government buildings, according to the city’s fire chief.

Chief David Cox Jr. told WJRT-TV that the pumps used to draw water to fight fires “are being destroyed by whatever is in the water.”

A city mechanic spotted an unusual amount of rust building up in the pump’s intake valves, damaging the rubber seals, which could significantly decrease water pressure to battle fires.

Fire officials also contacted sprinkler companies to request that they inspect the water-suppression systems.

In October 2014, six months after the state-controlled city switched to the Flint River, General Motors stopped using the river water because of fears that the highly corrosive water would rust car parts.

Gov. Rick Snyder spokesman David Murray told us today that state officials plan to address any problems that arise from the water crisis.

“Gov. Snyder is committed to protecting the health and safety of everyone in Flint,” Murray said. “The priority is to make the water safe and then address all infrastructure issues. It’s helpful and important for people to raise concerns so we can look for ways to assess all aspects of this crisis, caused by a failure of all levels of government.”

http://motorcitymuckraker.com/2016/02/10/gov-snyder-stopped-release-of-lead-test-results-at-schools-e-mails-show/

Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.

  • Remoat

    I wonder why the fire chief was fired. I also wonder if the police chief will be providing some inside info in a news story soon.

  • javierjuanmanuel

    A city mechanic spotted an unusual amount of rust building up in the
    pump’s intake valves, damaging the rubber seals, which could
    significantly decrease water pressure to battle fires.

    That sounds incorrect. The rubber does not react. The metal on either side of the rubber reacts, and water leaks out, and you lose pressure. The rubber would not react. The metal either side of the seal has to be smooth, the rust is oxidation, it is not smooth, then pin hole leaks form. You could have bad machining on the pipes, and a rubber seal would not work with pure clean water, because the machining process was not done to a high standard and left grooves etc, and the rubber would not mate correctly.

  • churchchurchliquorstore1

    How does Snyder sleep at night?

    • javierjuanmanuel

      I dunno, the feds let people put in lead pipes almost ten years after we banned it in PAINT, how do we not know those peoples names?

      We have known lead was bad for a long long time, its just in the old days people shrugged and said, yeah, so what, we are all gonna die someday, they they blew unfiltered cigarette smoke in your face.

    • javierjuanmanuel

      I dunno, the feds let people put in lead pipes almost ten years after we banned it in PAINT, how do we not know those peoples names?

      We have known lead was bad for a long long time, its just in the old days people shrugged and said, yeah, so what, we are all gonna die someday, they they blew unfiltered cigarette smoke in your face.

  • bebow

    I wonder what it did to people’s skin and internal organs.