Skip to main content

Get Ahead of Lead

As a leader in the nation in lead exposure prevention, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) recommends that Michigan households take the necessary steps to Get Ahead of Lead to stay safe and protect against the threat of lead in drinking water.

Statewide Recommendation for Michigan Households

MDHHS recommends that Michigan households use a certified lead-reducing drinking water filter if your home has or if you are uncertain if it has one of the following:

  • Lead or galvanized plumbing.
  • A lead service line carrying water from the street to their residence.
  • Old faucets and fittings that were sold before 2014.

Use the filter until you are able to remove sources of household lead plumbing, such as:

  • Replace pre-2014 faucets.
  • Get a lead inspection and replace needed plumbing.

Maintain Your Drinking Water

Below are tips that everyone can use to help maintain your home’s drinking water quality.

  • You can keep water moving by doing everyday activities, such as:
    • Running a load of laundry.
    • Washing dishes
    • Taking a shower.
    • Flushing toilets.
  • Clean the aerators on faucets at least once every six months to remove trapped debris. Follow this online guide to learn more: Cleaning Your Aerators
  • Before using the water from any faucet for drinking or cooking, run the cold water until it goes from room temperature to cold.

The Threat of Lead in Drinking Water

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that no safe blood lead level has been identified for young children. All sources of lead exposure for children should be controlled or eliminated. Lead can be found throughout a child’s environment including their homes. Homes built before 1978 can contain lead-based paint and dust, which is a well-established cause of child exposure to lead. Children can also be exposed to lead in their household drinking water due to corrosion of older water service lines and pipes, faucets, and fittings inside the home. This can occur on homes served by a private well or a public water supply.

Lead found in drinking water is soluble or particulate. Soluble lead is lead that is dissolved in water. Particulate lead is small pieces of lead from lead-containing material. Either type of lead can get into your drinking water when pipes or faucets containing lead begin to break down or dissolve. The amount of lead that can end up in drinking water depends on:

  • Water chemistry (what is in the water).
  • Contact with lead-containing items (if it passes through lead plumbing or fixtures).
  • Water use (how often and in what amount water runs through plumbing and fixtures).
  • Construction or plumbing repairs in the street or home (particulate lead can be released). 

Drinking Water Education Materials

En Espanol

Water System Popular Topics

Additional Agency Resources

Regulatory Information

All community and nontransient noncommunity water supplies are subject to Lead and Copper Rule (LCR) requirements. The LCR establishes action levels for lead and copper based on a 90th percentile level of tap samples. Water supplies must conduct tap monitoring and associated reporting to stay in compliance with the LCR. Visit our website for details regarding 2018 rule changes, reporting guidelines, forms, and templates.

Drinking water in schools

All children need access to healthy water. Quality drinking water is critical to a child's overall health, development, and performance. Michigan children spend a significant portion of their day in school or childcare facilities. The School Drinking Water Program provides school personnel with training, guidance, and tools on school water management practices, sampling plans, and risk reduction.

Drinking water advisory councils

Revisions to the LCR established the statewide Drinking Water Advisory Council, and individual Water System Advisory Councils to provide education about lead in drinking water to the state and local communities. The statewide council includes water industry professionals, public health professionals and members of the public. A local council must have five or more people, with at least one being a community resident.

Other agency resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Lead in drinking waterdrinking water resources; and lead and drinking water from private wells

Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE): Types of water supplies

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): Basic information about lead in drinking water

 

Residents eligible for the Faucet and Filter Safety Net Program should complete the lead services application. If you have questions, please contact the MDHHS Drinking Water Hotline at 844-934-1315.

Filter Safety Net Program

Households within Filter Safety Net communities with children and/or pregnant persons enrolled in Medicaid can receive a lead-reducing filter upon request.

Filter Safety Net communities include:

  • City of Three Rivers
  • City of Dowagiac
  • City of Owosso
  • City of Wayne
  • City of Manistee
  • City of Eastpointe
  • City of Lapeer
  • City of Harper Woods
  • City of Grand Rapids

Filter Safety Net Communities meet the following conditions:

  • As of August 1, 2023, the community has a current or past lead action level exceedance or had a 90th percentile lead level over 10 ppb as part of the LCR monitoring.
  • The community’s elevated blood lead level rate is above the state rate modified by age of housing and poverty.

To be eligible for Filter Safety Net, the household must:

  1. Be located within one of the designated Filter Safety Net Cities listed above.
  2. Have or be unsure if they have one of the below:
    • Lead or galvanized plumbing.
    • A lead service line carrying water from the street to their residence.
    • Old faucets and fittings that were sold before 2014.
  3. Include a Medicaid-enrolled child or children under 19 or Medicaid-enrolled pregnant persons.

If you have questions, please contact the MDHHS Drinking Water Hotline at 844-934-1315.

Faucet and Filter Safety Net Program

Households within Faucet and Filter Safety Net communities with children and/or pregnant persons enrolled in Medicaid can receive the following upon request:

  • Home visit and visual plumbing assessment.
  • Lead-reducing filter and replacement cartridges.
  • Single faucet replacement.
  • Assistance with signing up for Medicaid Lead Abatement program which will address lead hazards in the home.

Other low-income households may seek support from:

Faucet and Filter Safety Net communities include:
  • City of Highland Park
  • City of Muskegon Heights
  • City of Albion
  • City of Saginaw
  • City of Detroit
  • City of Hamtramck
  • City of Benton Harbor
  • City of Flint
  • City of Pontiac
  • City of Inkster
  • City of Ecorse

 

Faucet and Filter Safety Net Communities meet the following conditions:

  • As of August 1, 2023, the community was identified as significantly over-burdened (<$15,170 taxable value per capita and 125% poverty which was $37,500 HH income for family of 4) regardless of Lead and Copper Rule status.
  • The community’s elevated blood lead level rate is above the state rate modified by age of housing and poverty.

 

To be eligible for Faucet and Filter Safety Net, the household must:

  1. Be located within one of the designated Filter Safety Net Cities listed above.
  2. Have or be unsure if they have one of the below:
    • Lead or galvanized plumbing.
    • A lead service line carrying water from the street to their residence.
    • Old faucets and fittings that were sold before 2014.
  3. Include a Medicaid-enrolled child or children under 19 or Medicaid-enrolled pregnant persons.

If you meet the criteria above, please fill out a Lead Services Application. If you have questions, please contact the MDHHS Drinking Water Hotline at 844-934-1315.

Filters for Foster Care Program

The Filters for Foster Care Program provides point-of-use water filters statewide for residential foster care homes that have lead-containing plumbing including, but not limited to any of the following:

  • Lead/galvanized or unknown household plumbing.
  • Faucets sold before 2014.
  • Lead/galvanized service line.

 

Private wells can also have lead-containing plumbing. Visit Care For MI Drinking Water for more information. 

 

If you have questions, please contact the MDHHS Drinking Water Hotline at 844-934-1315.

Lead and Copper Exceedance in Community Water Supply Support Program

The Lead and Copper Exceedance in Community Water Supply Support Program will provide notification and packet of educational materials to local water supply and local public health in ALE communities as notified by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE). This packet includes the following materials:

 

If you have questions, please contact the MDHHS Drinking Water Hotline at 844-934-1315.

Helpful Terms

Lead Risk Communities

A data-driven approach was used to identify communities at higher risk for lead exposure. This includes percent of children with elevated blood levels, age of housing, poverty levels, and Lead and Copper Rule testing results. Communities receiving additional assistance are defined as either Filter Safety Net Communities or Faucet and Filter Safety Net Communities.

Lead Action Level Exceedance (Lead ALE)

When a water supply has detected more than 15 parts per billion (ppb) of lead in the drinking water of at least 10% of homes tested, as determined by the Safe Drinking Water Act.

Filter Safety Net Communities

Filter Safety Net Communities are communities that meet the following conditions:

  • The community has a current or past lead ALE or is currently over 10 ppb as part of the LCR monitoring.
  • The community’s elevated blood lead level rate is above the state rate.

Faucet and Filter Safety Net Communities

Faucet and Filter Safety Net Communities that meet the following conditions:

  • The community is significantly over-burdened (125% of the federal poverty line) regardless of Lead and Copper Ruling status.
  • The community’s elevated blood lead level rate is above the state rate.

Additional Resources

Lead and your health - picture of family at table

Lead and Your Health

Learn how elevated blood lead levels can affect bodies and overall health.

Blood Lead Testing - blood vile with check list with lead level checked

Blood Lead Testing

Learn what a blood lead test is, the different types, and why testing is important.

Lead services - older small house with painted siding

Lead Services

Learn about lead services for your home, offered by city and county.

Drinking water - woman drinking glass of water

Drinking Water

Learn the facts on how to protect your drinking water quality.

Lead policies and laws - women looking at form

Lead Policies and Laws

Learn about Michigan specific laws and regulations.