The Flint River flows through downtown Flint, Mich., on Feb. 29, 2016. (Linda Davidson/The Washington Post)

Regarding the Nov. 7 Sports article "Guard from Flint takes on feature role for Mason":

Congratulations to Jaire Grayer for stimulating some good news about Flint, Mich. Grayer is one of many outstanding young people whose early talents are nurtured in Flint by family and the larger community and culture that surround them.

The article’s representation of the Flint River as “notoriously polluted,” however, is wrong. Failure to add the proper, common chemical agent to Flint water so that water pipe linings would not corrode, thereby allowing lead and other materials to enter Flint’s drinking water, produced the now-familiar tragedy. That chemical additive is often added to public drinking-water supplies for other communities for the same reason and has nothing to do with the quality of the water in the Flint River. The river is widely used for many recreational purposes and with the proper processing could be safely consumed. No need to malign what is in fact another community asset, albeit a topographical one.

Robert Pestronk, Chevy Chase

The writer is the former executive director of the National Association of County and City Health Officials.