By Jody Alexander
When Flint, Michigan decided to switch their water supply from Lake Huron to the Flint River to cut down on water costs in 2014, they discovered a dangerous problem: the corrosive water had stripped the lead from the pipes, polluting the citizens tap water. The effects of lead poisoning include developmental delay, learning difficulties, weight loss, and abdominal pain, especially in children.
Removing heavy metals from water can be an extensive, expensive process. However, BHS TIME students Aiden Spradlin, Hannah Field, and Samuel Lemel have come up with a low-cost method that can remove up to 99 percent of heavy metal toxins from drinking water. The filter, which won first place in the TIME science fair, can be made with a 3D printer, and the only expense is the cost of the plastic, making it very practical for large scale use in the event of a crisis.