LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced additional dates for City of Benton Harbor residents to pick up bottled water as efforts to get water to homebound residents and residents without transportation continue with weekly water deliveries currently being provided to 474 homes.
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.
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.
To date, MDHHS and volunteers have provided 106,869 cases of free bottled water at community distribution sites and deliveries to residents who are homebound or lack access to transportation. 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.
The upcoming schedule for bottled water pickup is:
Saturday, Oct. 30
Sunday, Oct. 31
Monday, Nov. 1
Tuesday, Nov. 2
Wednesday, Nov. 3
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.
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.
To ensure the continued success of bottled water distribution locations in Benton Harbor and to recognize the city residents who have been stepping up to donate their time and talent, the State of Michigan has partnered with local agencies and will begin paying city residents who work at state-supported bottled water distribution sites. Individuals who want to serve as community ambassadors to help distribute water should connect with an established distribution site. Individuals or groups who want to serve as unpaid volunteers can sign up on the United Way's online platform.
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. 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.
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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