Bottled water available in City of Benton Harbor; filters and educational visits to homes planned

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 30, 2021

Gillian Conrad, BCHD, 269-927-5624, gconrad@bchdmi.org
Lynn Sutfin, MDHHS: 517-241-2112, sutfinl1@michigan.gov
EGLE Media Office, 517-284-9278, EGLE-Assist@Michigan.gov 

Local-state partnership aims to provide safe water as lead levels are permanently addressed

Free bottled water for drinking will be made available to City of Benton Harbor residents today and in the following days, and a renewed door-to-door effort to distribute water filters in the city is planned during the coming days and weeks. The outreach is part of a longer-term effort to reduce the risk of exposure to lead in drinking water, and to ensure residents have access to safe drinking water while the city replaces all lead service lines.

The water is free, and available to city residents who may take up to three cases of water per individual for consumption. Distribution is at the following locations and times:

  • Thursday, Sept. 30 from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Southwest Michigan Community Action Agency (CAA) at 331 Miller St., Benton Harbor. The CAA location will also distribute water next Monday, Oct. 4 from 9 a.m. until noon; Wednesday Oct.. 6 from 1 to 3 p.m.; and Thursday, Oct. 7 from 4 to 6 p.m.
  • Friday, Oct. 1 from 2 to 6 p.m. at God's Household of Faith, 275 Pipestone, Benton Harbor
  • Tuesday, Oct. 5 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Abundant Life Church of God in partnership with the Southwest Michigan Community Action Agency, 693 Columbus Ave., Benton Harbor

Additional distribution points will be announced as they are available. More information and updates are available online. 

In addition, a door-to-door campaign will start soon to renew efforts to provide water filters to all residents and share information on how to install and maintain the filters to effectively remove lead.

Lead levels in city drinking water have exceeded federal action standards for three consecutive years. Work is underway to permanently reduce those levels, and to replace all lead service lines within the city.

The outreach is a collaborative effort of the City of Benton Harbor, the Berrien County Health Department (BCHD), local community organizations, the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

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