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Water distribution moving to Boys & Girls Club starting May 31

Nearly 50% of lead service lines have been replaced to date

LANSING, Mich. – City of Benton Harbor residents are being reminded that starting Tuesday, May 31, bottled water distribution will be moving from the high school to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Benton Harbor Fettig Youth Campus at 600 Nate Wells Sr. Drive. The final day for water distribution at Benton Harbor High School is Sunday, May 29.

“The club is here to serve when and where we can,” said Liji Hanny, Boys & Girls Club of Benton Harbor chief operations officer. “We are truly humbled to serve our community in this capacity.”

Water will continue to be provided seven days a week by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) to City of Benton Harbor residents as accelerated lead service line replacement continues across the city. As of Monday, contractors reported 48.7% of the city’s lead service lines had been replaced or verified lead-free, leaving about 2,300 lines to go. More than 700 were replaced or verified in the last 30 days, an average of more than 23 per day.

Southwest Community Action Agency (SMCAA), 331 Miller Street, will continue to provide bottled water four days a week in addition to the Boys & Girls Club location. The SMCAA site will be closed on Monday, May 30 for Memorial Day.

City of Benton Harbor residents will continue to pick up water at Benton Harbor High School, 870 Colfax Avenue, on the following dates:

Monday, May 23

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

Tuesday, May 24

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

Wednesday, May 25

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

Thursday, May 26

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

    Saturday, May 28

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

Sunday, May 29

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

City of Benton Harbor residents can pick up water at Boys & Girls Clubs of Benton Harbor Fettig Youth Campus, 600 Nate Wells Sr. Drive, on the following dates:

  • Tuesday, May 31, 9 to 11 a.m.
  • Saturday, June 4, 12 to 2 p.m.
  • Sunday, June 5, 12 to 2 p.m.

Southwest Community Action Agency, 331 Miller Street, will continue to host water pickup as follows:

  • Wednesday, May 25, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Thursday, May 26, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Friday, May 27, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Monday, May 31 – CLOSED for holiday

The recycling trailer will be relocated to the Housing Commission parking lot, 721 Nate Wells Sr. Drive. This location is adjacent to the water distribution site at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Benton Harbor to continue to allow easy access for empty water bottle recycling for residents.

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.

Additional dates and locations for bottled water pick up 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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