FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:Oct. 15, 2021
CONTACT: Lynn Sutfin, 517-241-2112
LANSING, Mich. - Today, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced two updated locations for free bottled water over the weekend and has initiated efforts to begin deliveries to students, teachers, and support staff along with residents in multi-family dwellings to ensure residents across the city have access to drinking water.
Pallets of water were delivered to two apartment complexes, Harbor City Flats and Harbor Towers. Deliveries to the Benton Harbor Areas Schools begin next week. Water will be made available to residents and students in those buildings and more to provide easier access to bottled water for facilities that house a large number of people. MDHHS is working with the Benton Harbor Housing Commission to schedule deliveries to an expanded list of locations next week.
Additionally, to ensure all residents have access to information about water use, the Water Use in Benton Harbor flyer has been translated into Spanish and has been added to the MiLeadSafe website.
Since Sept. 30, 38,028 cases of water have been distributed with additional shipments scheduled for delivery to the city. Free bottled water is being provided by the state as residents are being encouraged to use bottled water for cooking, drinking, brushing teeth, rinsing foods and mixing powdered infant formula.
MDHHS is engaging in a long-term effort to eliminate lead action level exceedances, educate communities on the effects of lead in drinking water, and remove lead service lines.
Distribution is at the following locations and times:
Saturday, Oct. 16
Sunday, Oct. 17
Monday, Oct. 18
Tuesday, Oct. 19
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.
Efforts to support homebound residents and residents without transportation are also underway in addition to the water distribution sites. To arrange water delivery to homebound or residents without transportation in the City of Benton Harbor, please contact 211 which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
For questions about lead, MDHHS can be reached at 866-691-5323 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
This action is part of an accelerated, across-the-board effort to reduce the risk of exposure to lead in drinking water while the city replaces all lead service lines. This collaborative effort includes the City of Benton Harbor, the Berrien County Health Department, local community organizations, MDHHS and the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy..
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