Elevated lead levels detected in Hamtramck water

Oct 20, 2021 at 1:45 pm
click to enlarge The lead level in Hamtramck's water supply is 17 parts per billion. - Shutterstock.com
The lead level in Hamtramck's water supply is 17 parts per billion.

Hamtramck is the latest Michigan community to report elevated levels of lead in its drinking water. According to recent tests, the lead levels in the city are 17 parts per billion (ppb), exceeding the state's action level of 15 ppb.

"The goal for lead in drinking water is 0 ppb; there is no safe level of lead in the blood," a press release from the city notes.

"We want our residents to have safe drinking water," Hamtramck City Manager Kathleen Angerer said in a statement, adding, "we are calling on all of our elected officials, the Governor, and the Michigan Legislature to work quickly towards a solution to provide funding to Hamtramck and communities like ours for expedited full lead service line replacement for the safety of our families."

The city is giving out water filters and educational materials from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. on Thursday at the Hamtramck Town Center Parking Lot, 9215 Jos Campau Ave.

The annual tap water tests were recently conducted at 42 homes in the city. While the "action level" isn't a health-based standard, it triggers additional investigation and outreach in accordance with the Michigan Safe Drinking Water Act. The city says it will be collecting water samples from 60 homes every six months and reviewing the results to determine if additional action is necessary.

Hamtramck residents can call the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) at 844-934-1315 to get their service line inspected or have their drinking water tested for lead. Wayne County Healthy Communities is also offering tests for lead levels in blood.

Just years after the Flint water crisis, communities in Michigan are continuing to experience problems with elevated levels of lead in their drinking water. An emergency has been declared in Benton Harbor, a majority-Black city where lead levels in some homes tested at more than 800 parts per billion.

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