Progress continues in replacement of Benton Harbor lead service lines

Published: Jul. 15, 2022 at 5:18 PM EDT
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BENTON HARBOR, Mich. (WNDU) - Nearly 74 percent of lead service lines in Benton Harbor have now been replaced with new copper lines.

It comes as the city continues to replace old lines that exposed residents to lead.

But city officials are reminding people to continue to take these additional steps to prevent lead exposure:

  • Drinking bottled water or using a water filter
  • Getting a free home lead inspection
  • Flushing plumbing in your home
  • Cleaning aerators

Bottled water is still available for pickup at the following locations:

  • Southwest Michigan Community Action Agency – 331 Miller Street
  • Boys and Girls Club of Benton Harbor – 600 Nate Wells Sr. Drive

Times for bottled water pick up can be found at Michigan.gov/MiLeadSafe. Bottled water recycling is also available at 721 Nate Wells Sr. Drive in the Benton Harbor Housing Commission parking lot.

More information from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services:

Lead-Reducing Water Filters

The Berrien County Health Department (BCHD) is providing free lead-reducing filters. Residents can receive a free filter by picking one up at BCHD at 2149 E. Napier Avenue, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Filters can also be mailed to residents who call the drinking water hotline at 844-934-1315 or fill out an online form.

Apply for a Free Home Inspection

Residents can receive a free home inspection to help identify and address sources of lead in paint, water, and soil. Families living in Benton Harbor can apply for this service by filling out and mailing in an application that is available online. Residents also can call 866-691-5323 to get more information.

Flushing

The contractors who replace your lead line will ensure that a thorough plumbing flush takes place in your home after service line replacement is completed. The Flushing Your House Plumbing System When Water Services are Restored flyer details the process used when flushing immediately following replacement. Keeping fresh water moving through the lines keeps fresh water in your home’s plumbing and keeps water flowing through the larger water distribution system as a whole.

Cleaning Your Aerator

The screens on the ends of faucets are called aerators. Aerators help keep pieces of lead and other particles from getting into your water. During construction or repairs to the public water system or service lines near your home, the recommendation is to clean drinking water faucet aerators at least every month or more until the work is done. In general, it is recommended that residents clean their drinking water faucet aerator at least every six months.

For questions about lead, MDHHS can be reached at 866-691-5323 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Cleaning Your Aerators flyer

Flushing Your House Plumbing System When Water Services are Restored flyer

Your Lead Service Lines Have Been Replaced. What Should You Do Next? flyer in English and Spanish

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