Flint emergency establishes link with Virginia specialists

Feb 5, 2016

Virginia Tech water scientist Marc Edwards has emerged as one of the heroes of the Flint water crisis.

His work was central to exposing the dangerous lead levels city residents have faced. Edwards’ young colleagues at Virginia Tech continue their work as the Flint Water Study Team. Current State speaks with a key member of the group about its work.


Flint residents beleaguered by a water emergency have developed a unique and important connection with a community 550 miles away.

Blacksburg, Virginia is a city of over 40,000 situated between the Blue Ridge and Alleghany mountains. It’s where you’ll find Virginia Tech University, which has been playing a key role in analyzing Flint’s water.

Dr. Marc Edwards, a civil and environmental engineer on the school’s faculty, is acclaimed as a hero of the Flint emergency for his study of lead levels coming out of homeowner’s faucets. Since last August, he’s headed the Flint Water Study Team which leads the ongoing research that’s needed to solve Flint’s water emergency.

Current State talks with a colleague of Dr. Edwards who’s also a member of the team. William Rhoads is a Ph.D. candidate in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Virginia Tech.