St. Clair Shores warns about elevated levels of lead in water system

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The city of St. Clair Shores has issued an advisory after finding elevated levels of lead in the water system.

The city tested 62 sites along the city’s lead service lines and found that eight of them exceeded 15 parts per billion, which is referred to as the Environmental Protection Agency’s “action level.” That triggers additional testing, among other measures.

Still, no amount of lead is safe, the EPA has stressed.

Of the city’s more than 26,000 water customers, about 2.7% – or 720 – rely on lead service lines. The city said it notified the homeowners with elevated levels of lead.

"Although less than 3 percent of our water customers are affected, we want to be proactive and alert all of our water customers – whether their house has lead service lines or not – to be vigilant and take steps to reduce the risk of any lead exposure,” St. Clair Shores Mayor Kip Walby said in a news release. “We will continue testing and provide our citizens with information and public education about lead in drinking water and what we as water consumers can do to minimize the risk in our homes.”

The city issued a similar advisory in November 2019 after elevated levels of lead were found in some of the service lines.

St. Clair Shores plans to replace 720 lead service lines. So far, the city has replaced about 100 of them at a cost of $400,000.

The city established a webpage to help residents reduce their exposure to lead in drinking water.

Impacted residents are eligible for complimentary water filters by calling 586-447-3305 between 7 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. on weekdays.

In a cover story in November, Metro Times explored the devastating impact of lead poisoning on children.

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