State launches new initiative providing lead-free water fixtures to Flint homeowners

Homes with previously tested high lead results to qualify

January 13, 2017

For more Information:
Tiffany Brown, 517-242-1376, brownt22@michigan.gov   
Michael Shore, 517-388-9211, shorem2@michigan.gov

LANSING - - The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) are launching a program that provides new faucets, at no cost to residents, to Flint homes that have tested high in lead. This new initiative will target homes that have shown to have elevated lead levels in the water based on the results of the residential testing program conducted from September 2015 to December 2016.

“One of the things we have learned while testing in schools is that brass faucets and other brass components can be a significant contributor of lead,” said George Krisztian, Flint Action Plan Coordinator and Assistant Chief of the MDEQ Office of Drinking Water and Municipal Assistance. “We believe we can significantly reduce the amount of lead in water by undertaking this initiative.”

The homes in the program will have the kitchen faucet and one bathroom faucet replaced with faucets that meet the new standard that was enacted in January of 2014.  In addition, the plumbing going back to the shut off valves located under the sink will also be replaced.

“We remain committed to finding solutions that will further protect Flint residents from lead exposure and ensure their health and safety,” said Nick Lyon, MDHHS director. “This new program is another vital step in remediating any and all lead hazards in Flint, and we’re proud to partner with MDEQ in getting this effort up and running.”

The Community Outreach and Resident Education (CORE) Program will identify a second phase of homes who may also qualify for the new faucets based on the status of plumbing within the home. The CORE Program is a recently announced joint city/state initiative utilizing citizen organizers who interface directly with residents to ensure they are receiving proper education on water filters and filter supplies.

The fixture replacement program is anticipated to begin by February, 2017. Funding has been made available to replace faucets in approximately 4,000 homes.

The MDEQ is dedicated to respect for Michigan’s citizens, stewardship of the environment, and support for a sustainable economy.