Benton Harbor Mayor reacts to results of faucet filter efficacy study

NOW: Benton Harbor Mayor reacts to results of faucet filter efficacy study

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BENTON HARBOR, Mich. -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released the results of its study on the effectiveness of faucet filters on the Benton Harbor’s tap water – finding they do in fact reduce lead exposure.

Those filters have been distributed to residents since the city’s first lead action level exceedance in 2018.

That all came to a halt in October when the EPA and MDHHS ordered only the use of bottled water for eating and drinking. 

Mayor Marcus Muhammad said the results are validation that the city, state and federal government have been working to address the lead issue long before Governor Whitmer’s Executive Directive in October.  

“The Berrien County Health Department not only opened up an office downtown, but they handed out over 2,800 filters which were part of this study,” said Mayor Muhammad.

200 homes were sampled in the study.

The EPA said faucet filters are effective, but they have to be used properly, which includes having a certified filter and doing routine cleaning and replacing of cartridges. 

The Berrien County Health Department plans to send workers out in the community to help with installation when the time comes, but Mayor Muhammad said that’s a ways away.

For now, bottled water is still the safe bet.

“A good filter can mitigate up to 150 parts per billion lead in the water, the highest that was recorded was 77 – which is too high,” said Mayor Muhammad. “Every home does not have lead or even lead lines, however, the mantra from the very beginning was to provide bottled water out of an abundance of caution.”

To see ABC57’s interview with the EPA regarding their study, click here.

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