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Benton Harbor Water Outreach Task Force

Benton Harbor city limits sign
Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy

Benton Harbor Water Outreach Task Force

The Benton Harbor Water Outreach Task Force is a multi-sector team of community-based, local and state partners that began February 2020.

The Benton Harbor Community Water Council, the City of Benton Harbor, Berrien County Health Department, Andrews University, Freshwater Future, and the Benton Spirit Community Newspaper; Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy; and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services are joining forces to ensure that Benton Harbor residents have access to information and free resources to reduce lead in water.

Benton Harbor city limits sign

Drinking Water Response

The Benton Harbor water system exceeded the federal drinking water action level for lead for three consecutive years until the most recent 6-month compliance sampling period. Those results show decreased levels of lead, putting the city just at the federal action level after three years above that level. The State of Michigan - in concert with Benton Harbor, the local health department, federal agencies, and community stakeholders - has undertaken an urgent whole-of-government response to address this challenge and ensure all Benton Harbor families have access to safe drinking water.

bottles of water

Bottled Water Distribution

Bottled water will continue to be distributed to City of Benton Harbor residents through a local-state partnership. The upcoming distribution locations and times are listed on the MiLeadSafe website.

Lead service line being removed

Lead Action Level Exceedance


On August 2, 2021, Benton Harbor found that more than 10% of water samples recently gathered in 78 residencies exceeded the Action Level of 15 parts per billion (ppb) for lead, resulting in Benton Harbor's sixth Action Level Exceedance (ALE). There are many homes in Benton Harbor that have lead service lines, the pipes that deliver water to your home; as a result, the ALE will continue until lead sampling shows less lead so that less than 10% of the samples are above the Action Level.