Because the state continues its efforts to switch lead service strains and take away sources of lead from houses in Benton Harbor, the Michigan Division of Well being and Human Companies (DHHS) has created a street map officers stated Benton Harbor households ought to take after their lead service strains are changed.
“With 99.8% of lead service strains changed within the metropolis of Benton Harbor, the state is continuous its all hands-on-deck response to make assets obtainable to residents within the metropolis of Benton Harbor,” the DHHS wrote in a information launch issued Monday. “This consists of free house lead inspection and abatement companies to assist households guarantee there will not be further sources of lead of their houses from paint or plumbing.”
Efforts to take away lead from Benton Harbor houses come after DHHS in 2021 informed town’s roughly 10,000 residents to not drink their faucet water after excessive ranges of lead have been discovered. Since then, the state has been working to deal with lead contamination by changing town’s getting old lead service strains. Lead is a poisonous chemical that may trigger mind and kidney harm, behavioral issues and even loss of life.
In accordance with the Michigan Division of Atmosphere, Nice Lakes and Power’s Benton Harbor mission dashboard, 99.8% of the water service strains have been changed or verified as lead-free. A complete of 4,497 lead service strains have been changed.
As a part of its “street map,” DHHS advises households to make use of lead-reducing filters or bottled water till the division clears their house’s plumbing to be used. It then advises scheduling a free house lead inspection and abatement companies and having the house’s plumbing fastened, eliminated or changed at no cost if any sources of lead are discovered within the house’s plumbing.
Benton Harbor residents ought to then have their water examined by the DHHS to verify that every one sources of lead have been fastened, eliminated or changed. Lastly, residents ought to clear the screens on the finish of their taps — referred to as aerators — and may maintain water shifting of their house. This may embrace on a regular basis actions akin to working water till it’s chilly, having a shower, doing laundry and working a dishwasher.
The division stated it’s vital for Benton Harbor households to proceed utilizing filters or bottled water for ingesting, brushing their enamel, cooking, rinsing meals and mixing child system till they’ve their free house lead inspection.
Residence lead inspections are additionally obtainable to owners, renters and landlords for free of charge. Free lead abatement companies are additionally obtainable freed from value for owners, whereas there’s a shared value for homeowners of rental properties.
Lead inspections can embrace environmental investigations to establish lead in paint, mud, soil and ingesting water hazards. Sampling to establish lead in ingesting water and testing of non-household elements with the potential to comprise lead akin to toys, dishes or furnishings may even be provided.
Lead abatement companies can embrace full service for lead in paint, mud, soil and ingesting water hazards. Lavatory and kitchen taps from earlier than 2014 which can be used for drinkable water might be changed no matter water sampling outcomes.
Lead companies purposes can be found on-line at Michigan.gov/MILeadSafe. The web site additionally options further data, together with a information for cleansing an aerator. Residents can name DHHS at 866-691-5323 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday by way of Friday, for details about purposes or for questions on lead.
Benton Harbor residents will proceed to be supplied with bottled water and filters. The Berrien County Well being Division is offering free filters, which could be picked up from 8:30 a.m. to five p.m., Monday by way of Friday, at 2149 E. Napier Ave. Residents may name 844-934-1315 or fill out a web-based kind to have filters delivered to their houses.
Water pickup might be obtainable from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on July 13 by way of July 14, and on July 17 at Southwest Group Motion Company on 331 Miller St. Supply of bottled water will proceed for homebound residents and residents with out transportation. Residents in want of water deliveries can contact the Metropolis of Benton Harbor any time by calling 211. Residents ought to contact 844-875-9211 if they can’t name 211.