(Benton Harbor) (7-29-19)  – The City of Benton Harbor announced Friday, July 26th that the water supply is under a continuation of the Action Level Exceedance of 15ppb for lead that has been in effect since October 2018. Out of an abundance of caution, the Berrien County Health Department reiterates the recommendation that all Benton Harbor City water customers, especially those who may be pregnant or have children in the home, take steps to reduce their risk of lead exposure by flushing their water for at least five minutes or using an NSF/ANSI Standard 53 certified filter to remove lead from the water.

Since January 2019, the Berrien County Health Department has been providing NSF/ANSI Standard 53 certified water filters to the residents of the City of Benton Harbor. To date, nearly 2,000 filters have been provided to Benton Harbor City residents. Any City resident who has not yet received a water filter unit, or is in need of a replacement filter cartridge, is welcomed to obtain one through the following ways:

Day/Time for Pick-Up Location & Address
First Monday of each month
4:00PM-6:00PM
Harbor of Hope Church
769 Pipestone, Benton Harbor
Third Thursday of each month
4:00PM-6:00PM
Benton Harbor Public Library
213 E. Wall St., Benton Harbor
Monday-Friday

8:30AM-5:00PM

Berrien County Health Department
2149 E. Napier Ave., Benton Harbor
Residents with questions are encouraged to call the

Water Response Hotline at 1-800-815-5485.

The Berrien County Health Department continues to offer blood lead testing and monitor the blood lead levels of children under age six throughout the county, as children under the age of 6 are at the greatest risk of lead exposure. Benton Harbor residents can have their children tested for lead in their blood at InterCare Community Health Network (800 M-139, Benton Harbor), at Spectrum Health Lakeland Center for Outpatient Services (3900 Hollywood Road, St. Joseph), or at the Berrien County Health Department (2149 E. Napier Ave, Benton Harbor). Despite the ongoing Action Level Exceedance for lead in the drinking water, there have been no significant increases in elevated blood lead levels in Benton Harbor children; overall trends show elevated blood lead levels have been decreasing since 2011.

All Benton Harbor City water customers are reminded to take the following precautionary actions to reduce their exposure to lead:

  • Use a water filter certified to remove lead from the water, or an NSF/ANSI 53 Certified filter.
  • Residents who do not have a filter and have not used their water for six hours or more should flush their pipes to reduce the amount of lead in their drinking water. Pipes can be flushed by running faucets for at least five minutes or by taking a shower, running a load of laundry or washing dishes. After flushing, run the water from your faucet until cold before drinking or cooking with the water.
  • Use cold tap water for drinking and cooking.
  • Use bottled water for preparing baby formula or use Ready-to-Feed formula.
  • Do not boil the water, as boiling will not reduce the amount of lead in the water.
  • Clean faucets’ aerators or screens at least every six months.

More information about lead in drinking water can be found at www.bchdmi.org or by calling the Water Response Hotline at 1-800-815-5485.

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