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State of Michigan reminds City of Benton Harbor residents of resources, guidance after their lead service lines are replaced

Nearly 74% of lead services lines replaced to date

LANSING, Mich. – The State of Michigan is reminding City of Benton Harbor residents of available resources and guidance after their lead service lines are replaced to help protect their families from lead exposure. As of July 14, nearly 74% of lead service lines in the city have now been replaced with new copper lines.

“Replacing your lead service lines is an important step in reducing lead exposure, but it is not the final step,” said Elizabeth Hertel, MDHHS director. “As lead service lines are replaced throughout the City of Benton Harbor, it is important residents take additional steps to protect their families from lead in their drinking water.”

This includes:

  • Continuing to use bottled water or a lead-reducing water filter while the city’s service lines are replaced.
  • Receiving a free home lead inspection.
  • Flushing plumbing in the home.
  • Cleaning aerators.

Bottled Water

Bottled water pick up is available at:

  • Southwest Michigan Community Action Agency – 331 Miller Street.
  • Boys and Girls Club of Benton Harbor – 600 Nate Wells Sr. Drive.

Times for bottled water pick up can be found at Michigan.gov/MiLeadSafe. Bottled water recycling is also available at 721 Nate Wells Sr. Drive in the Benton Harbor Housing Commission parking lot.

Lead-Reducing Water Filters

The Berrien County Health Department (BCHD) is providing free lead-reducing filters. Residents can receive a free filter by picking one up at BCHD at 2149 E. Napier Avenue, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Filters can also be mailed to residents who call the drinking water hotline at 844-934-1315 or fill out an online form.

Apply for a Free Home Inspection
Residents can receive a free home inspection to help identify and address sources of lead in paint, water, and soil. 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 get more information. 

Flushing

The contractors who replace your lead line will ensure that a thorough plumbing flush takes place in your home after service line replacement is completed. The Flushing Your House Plumbing System When Water Services are Restored flyer details the process used when flushing immediately following replacement. Keeping fresh water moving through the lines keeps fresh water in your home’s plumbing and keeps water flowing through the larger water distribution system as a whole. 

Cleaning Your Aerator
The screens on the ends of faucets are called aerators. Aerators help keep pieces of lead and other particles from getting into your water. During construction or repairs to the public water system or service lines near your home, the recommendation is to clean drinking water faucet aerators at least every month or more until the work is done. In general, it is recommended that residents clean their drinking water faucet aerator at least every six months. Step-by-step guidance is provided in the Cleaning Your Aerators flyer.

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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Cleaning Your Aerators flyer

Flushing Your House Plumbing System When Water Services are Restored flyer

Your Lead Service Lines Have Been Replaced. What Should You Do Next? flyer in English and Spanish