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Free, bottled water continues to be available for City of Benton Harbor residents at high school and Southwest Community Action Agency

LANSING, Mich. – Free bottled water continues to be provided by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) for City of Benton Harbor residents for cooking, drinking, brushing teeth, rinsing foods and mixing powdered infant formula.

To arrange water delivery to homebound or residents without transportation in the City of Benton Harbor, contact 211, which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Phones that cannot contact 211 should contact 844-875-9211.

Community volunteers from the following organizations are available to assist City of Benton Harbor residents pick up water at Benton Harbor High School, 870 Colfax Avenue as follows:

Tuesday, May 17

  • 12 – 2 p.m. – Volunteers from Abundant Life C.O.G.I.C.
  • 4 – 6 p.m. – Volunteers from Ebenezer Baptist Church

Wednesday, May 18

  • 12 – 2 p.m. – Volunteers from Purpose Church Ministries
  • 4 – 6 p.m. – Volunteers from Purpose Church Ministries

Thursday, May 19

  • 12 - 2 p.m. - Volunteers from Ebenezer Baptist Church
  • 4 – 6 p.m. – Volunteers from Brotherhood of All Nations

Saturday, May 21

  • 12 – 2 p.m. – Volunteers from Boys & Girls Club of Benton Harbor

Sunday, May 22

  • 2 – 4 p.m. – Volunteers from Abundant Life C.O.G.I.C.
  • 4 – 6 pm – Volunteers from Brotherhood of All Nations

Monday, May 23

  • 12 – 2 p.m. – Volunteers from Abundant Life C.O.G.I.C.

Southwest Community Action Agency, 331 Miller Street, will host self-serve water pickup as follows:

  • Wednesday, May 18, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Thursday, May 19, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Friday, May 20, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Monday, May 23, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Additional dates and locations for bottled water pick up will be added to make sure community needs are met. Information will be posted on Michigan.gov/MiLeadSafe.

A recent U.S. Environmental Protection Agency study confirms that certified filters, properly installed and maintained, are effective in reducing lead in Benton Harbor drinking water. The Berrien County Health Department has filters available free of charge.

The ongoing response in Benton Harbor includes the city, Berrien County Health Department, local community organizations, MDHHS and the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer called for the replacement of lead service lines in Benton Harbor in 18 months and the Whitmer-Gilchrist Administration the administration has secured the funding to replace 100 percent of the lines in the city.

There is no cost to City of Benton Harbor residents for lead service line replacement. To assist with assuring the work can be completed as soon as possible, residents are encouraged to complete the Water Service Line Replacement Agreement available online. Contractors cannot begin work on any property without property owner authorization. Completed forms submitted online or returned to Abonmarche, 95 West Main Street, Benton Harbor, MI 49022 or emailed to Sandy Riehl at sriehl@abonmarche.com. For questions, call 269-926-4557.

These efforts also include recently approved funds to remove lead from homes in the city. 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 obtain information. 

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

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