Dr. Marc Edwards, and PhD student Sid Roy are both heavily featured in a NOVA special report titled "Poisoned Water" that aired on PBS.
Of all the chemicals in the lab in Durham Hall at Virginia Tech, there's one that Dr. Marc Edwards and his team work with more than the rest, and that's good old H2O.
Dr. Edwards and student Sid Roy both played a large role in finding out why people in Flint, Michigan were getting sick from their water.
"They forgot to add one important chemical that we have to add if there are lead pipes in the system," said Roy.
"It would've prevented iron corrosion, kept lead on the pipe and out of the water, and prevented the growth of legionella bacteria," added Dr. Edwards.
Since they made the discoveries in Flint, they have been working on cases all over the United States.
"Both in post-industrial cities and in rural America," said Dr. Edwards.
"A good example would be St. Joseph, Louisiana. The mayor there said on tape the water is fine, but he doesn't drink it, and hasn't for years. What does that tell you?" Said Roy.
So they partnered with LSU to investigate, and found the St. Joseph was having nearly the same problems as Flint. Their work was able to secure clean water for residents there, and the city is moving to repair its water infrastructure.
And their work continues today. Their lab is full of water samples from many different areas, and they are actively testing those samples in an effort to bring clean drinking water to all.
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