Lead Public Advisory
This website is being hosted by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to facilitate communication between a water supply and its consumers about lead in drinking water. A recent amendment to Michigan's Safe Drinking Water Act, 1976 PA 399, as amended, requires a water system to provide a public advisory to its consumers regarding lead within three business days of exceeding the action level for lead. The information on this website may not apply to your water unless you are expressly directed to this website by your water supply. If you have questions about the quality of your drinking water or its compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act, please contact your water supply and ask for a copy of your Consumer Confidence Report.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT LEAD IN YOUR DRINKING WATER
Your water supply found elevated levels of lead in the drinking water in some homes/buildings. Lead can cause serious health problems, especially for pregnant women and young children. Please read this notice closely to see what you can do to reduce lead in your drinking water.
This advisory is the first of several steps your water system will be required to complete after exceeding the Action Level for lead. For example, as part of their Public Education requirement, your water supply will be providing you additional information about your water supply, what has happened and what is being done by the water system to address the Action Level Exceedance.
Health Effects of Lead
Lead can cause serious health problems if too much enters your body from drinking water or other sources. It can cause damage to the brain and kidneys, and can interfere with the production of red blood cells that carry oxygen to all parts of your body. The greatest risk of lead exposure is to infants, young children, and pregnant women. Scientists have linked the effects of lead on the brain with lowered IQ in children. Adults with kidney problems and high blood pressure can be affected by low levels of lead more than healthy adults. Lead is stored in the bones and it can be released later in life. During pregnancy, the child receives lead from the mother’s bones, which may affect brain development.
Sources of Lead
Lead is a common metal found in the environment. Drinking water is one possible source of lead exposure. Other sources of lead exposure for most individuals are lead-based paint, lead-contaminated dust or soil, and some plumbing materials. In addition, lead can be found in certain types of pottery, pewter, fixtures, food, and cosmetics. Other sources include exposure in the work place and exposure from certain hobbies (lead can be carried on clothing or shoes).
Plumbing products such as pipes and fixtures, may contain lead. Homes built before 1988 are more likely to have plumbing containing lead, but newer homes may also contain lead. Beginning in 2014, the law reduced the allowable level of lead in these products to a maximum of 0.25 percent to be labeled as “lead free.” Older fixtures may contain higher levels of lead.
When water is in contact with pipes [or service lines] or plumbing that contains lead for several hours, the lead may enter drinking water. Homes built before 1986 are more likely to have plumbing containing lead. New homes may also have lead; even “lead-free” plumbing may contain some lead.
United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) estimates that drinking water can make up 20 percent or more of a person’s potential exposure to lead. Infants who consume mostly mixed formula can receive 40 percent to 60 percent of their exposure to lead from drinking water.
Don’t forget about other sources of lead, such as lead paint, lead dust, and lead in soil. Wash your children’s hands and toys often as they can come into contact with dirt and dust containing lead.
1. Run your water to flush out lead. Run water for 30 seconds to two minutes, per US EPA recommendations, or until it becomes cold or reaches a steady temperature before using it for drinking or cooking, if it hasn’t been used for several hours. This flushes lead-containing water from the pipes.
2. Use cold water for cooking and preparing baby formula. Do not cook with or drink water from the hot water tap; lead dissolves more easily into hot water. Do not use water from the hot water tap to make baby formula.
3. Do not boil water to remove lead. Boiling water will not reduce lead levels.
4. Look for alternative sources or treatment of water. You may want to consider purchasing bottled water or a water filter. Read the package to be sure the filter is approved to reduce lead or contact NSF International (http://www.nsf.org) at 800-NSF-8010 or for information on performance standards for water filters. Be sure to maintain and replace a filter device in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions to protect water quality.
5. Get your child tested. Contact your local health department (http://www.michigan.gov/mdhhs/0,5885,7-339--96747--,00.html) or healthcare provider to find out how you can get your child tested for lead if you are concerned about exposure.
6. Test your water for lead (http://www.michigan.gov/documents/deq/Lead__Copper_Lab_Certs_526434_7.pdf)
Call your water supply to find out how to get your water tested for lead.
7. Identify if your plumbing fixtures contain lead. Faucets, fittings, and valves may contribute lead to drinking water unless they have been replaced since 2013. Any new connecting plumbing and fittings should meet the 2014 lead-free definition. If you replace your faucet, buy a new one that meets the 2014 lead-free definition. Visit the National Sanitation Foundation Web site at http://www.nsf.org to learn more about lead-containing plumbing fixtures (https://nepis.epa.gov/Exe/ZyPDF.cgi?Dockey=P100LVYK.txt)
References and Additional Resources
For more information on reducing lead exposure around your home and the health effects of lead, visit the US EPA’s Web site (http://www.epa.gov/lead), call the National Lead Information Center at 1-800‑424‑LEAD, or contact your health care provider.
US EPA – Lead in Drinking Water (http://www.epa.gov/safewater/lead)
US EPA – Is There Lead in my Drinking Water? (https://nepis.epa.gov/Exe/ZyPDF.cgi?Dockey=500025PW.txt)
Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (http://www.michigan.gov/deq/0,4561,7-135-3313_3675_76638---,00.html)
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (http://www.michigan.gov/lead)
CDC - Lead - Water (https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/lead/tips/water.htm)