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City of Benton Harbor residents can submit Right of Access forms and sign up for free home lead inspections at Water Response Resource and Opportunity Fair on Oct. 6

LANSING, Mich. – City of Benton Harbor homeowners can submit a Right of Access form to get their lead service line replaced as well as sign up for a free home lead inspection during the City of Benton Harbor Water Response Resource and Opportunity Fair on Thursday, Oct. 6. The resource fair is being held at the Boys & Girls Club of Benton Harbor, Joel E. Smilow Teen Center, 190 W. Empire Avenue, from 4 to 6 p.m.

Nearly 95% of the lead service lines in the city have now been inspected and replaced with copper lines or verified as non-lead. In order for contractors to access private properties and finish the service line replacement project, a “Right of Access” Water Service Line Replacement Agreement form has to be completed by each homeowner. As of today, 2,750 forms have been submitted by the nearly 2,900 current water customers in Benton Harbor.

These forms will be available at the resource fair so City of Benton Harbor homeowners can submit them on site to have the work completed.

In addition, to help ensure all homes in the City of Benton Harbor are lead-safe for families, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) will be available to accept applications for free home lead inspections.

Earlier this year, MDHHS expanded its lead abatement services to all homes in the city. Home lead services are now available to any housing unit, rental or owner occupied, on the Benton Harbor water supply, regardless of the age of the home. There are no household income requirements, and the services are available to single and multi-family residences. Owners of rental properties will be required to participate in cost sharing for services.

In-home lead investigation services can include environmental investigations to identify lead in paint, dust, soil and drinking water hazards. In addition, sequential water sampling to identify lead in drinking water and testing of non-household components (toys, dishes, furniture, etc.) with potential to contain lead will be offered.

Lead abatement services can include full abatement services for lead in paint, dust, soil and drinking water hazards. Pre-2014 bathroom and kitchen faucets used for potable water will be replaced regardless of water sampling results.

Additional resources available at the Thursday, Oct. 6 resource fair include:

  • Job opportunities
  • Home water testing kits
  • Filters and filter installation demonstrations
  • Aerator cleaning demonstrations
  • Free bottled water

The event will include information and representatives from local community organizations, the City of Benton Harbor, Berrien County Health Department, Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

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City of Benton Harbor Water Response Resource and Opportunity Fair flyer