AS HEARD ON THE GCN RADIO NETWORK! RADIO LISTENERS RECEIVE 5% OFF CERAMIC FILTER SYSTEMSAs heard on GCN! 5% off CERAMIC FILTER SYSTEMS
menuclose
Fast and Free Shipping on orders over $50!
questions? call 877-992-3753 or visit helpful resources >>

EPA Funds Largest Citizen-Science Based Water Quality Research Project

A grant from the US Environmental Protection Agency has given the engineering team from Virginia Tech who exposed the Flint water crisis the funding to allow them to conduct their detective work in other communities that may be affected by lead contamination.

According to a report in The Roanoke Times, Marc Edwards, a civil engineering professor at Virginia Tech, has been awarded an EPA grant of nearly two million dollars to detect lead in public drinking water, and to implement measures to control lead levels in drinking water by getting members of the public involved with ongoing monitoring operations.

According to Edwards, this funding will enable him and his team to coordinate the "largest engineering citizen-science project in American history."

The EPA grant, which covers a three-year period, will provide the necessary support for his team, as well as collaborators from Louisiana State and North Carolina State Universities.

Dr. Marc Edwards, an engineering professor at Virginia Tech, and an expert on municipal water quality who had been sent to study the water supply under a National Science Foundation grant Dr. Marc Edwards, an engineering professor at Virginia Tech, and an expert on municipal water quality who had been sent to study the water supply under a National Science Foundation grant

Edwards has received wide recognition for his contribution to exposing the Flint water crisis resulting from lead contamination of the local drinking water supply. He plans to create a model that can be applied widely to enable communities to test their own drinking water.

9

Edwards' laboratory already tests water samples from various parts of the country. However, the funding provided by this grant will give Edwards the financial resources to identify other communities suffering from water quality issues that puts the health of its residents at risk; particularly communities that have until now been neglected. The funding will also be used to test home water testing kits to identify the most effective solution for detecting water quality problems at home.

LeeAnne Walters, an environmental activist who recently won the Goldman Environmental Prize for grassroots environmental activism, approached Edwards for assistance regarding Flint's water quality. Edwards together with his team of students and colleagues from Virginia Tech helped the local community test their water in the hope of identifying where the lead contamination was coming from.

Edwards found that the city's drinking water supply became contaminated with dangerously high levels of lead after municipal officials switched to an alternative water source in 2014 in an effort to save the city money. This in turn led to a health crisis, after Mona Hanna-Attisha, a pediatrician from Michigan, found elevated levels of lead in children living in the city.

The Flint case highlighted the problem of aging water systems across the country, and resulted in a state of emergency being implemented, together with public officials responsible for the crisis being criminally charged for their role.

Edwards said that the Flint experience has provided his team with a model that they will continue to use moving forward, and that the EPA grant would be a big help, joking that the funding would help the project "to lose money a little less quickly."

Leave a Reply