EPA begins testing water in Benton Harbor homes

NOW: EPA begins testing water in Benton Harbor homes

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. -- The EPA wants to sample residents homes for lead levels and check to see if faucet filters are effective. 

Some residents have already had similar testing done by MDHHS.

The EPA is going to use that data, but this will be a more in-depth look at a much larger portion of houses.

“We’re trying to capture up to 300 folks to test filters so we can get a robust data set of the conditions that are going on here,” said Diane Russell, EPA Community Involvement Coordinator. 

All it takes is a phone call to 269-248-2195 and you’re set up for a team to sample your home’s water. 

In just half an hour, they’ll be able to check for not only the presence of lead, but the type.

“Is it particulate lead, or has it already dissolved in the water,” said Russell.

As well as if faucet filters, which residents had been told to use up until last month, work.

If you were using a filtered pitcher, the EPA can test that, too.  

“People were really interested in how the filters work here in Benton Harbor, so we’re bringing science into people’s homes and going to find out,” said Russell.  

While they want to test as many homes as they can get, the initial goal is 300, which will help them zero in on areas where lead is most prevalent. 

It’s similar to what Abonmarche, the contractor for service line replacements, is asking residents to do ahead of their work. 

Resident participation is crucial in both cases as both groups need you to authorize it before they even step on your property.  

“I know there’s a lot of things people have to keep track of in Benton Harbor,” said Russell. “But we have folks here who are ready to bring answers to questions for residents.”   

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