Health Officials in Berrien County offer water filters to residents experiencing unsafe levels of lead

NOW: Health Officials in Berrien County offer water filters to residents experiencing unsafe levels of lead

EAU CLAIRE, Ind. – In response to the Public Advisory issued on Tuesday by the Village of Eau Claire, the Berrien County Health Department announced that they will be issuing free water filters to residents with children or pregnant women in financial need.

According to the Village of Eau Claire, their water system had exceeded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Michigan regulatory Action Level for lead.

The Village of Eau Claire does not have lead in its water mains or service lines, but the water has become contaminated for various residents via lead pipes, solder, faucets, or home interior plumbing.

Elly Hypes, an Eau Claire resident, expressed her concerns over the issue.

“I worry a little bit about that because I don’t want my kids to end up getting sick and having to have medical problems later on or you know medications or treatments or anything like that,” Hypes said.

Health officials recommended precautionary action after over 10% of the residential samples that were tested had exceeded the action level.

Water customers in the Village of Eau Claire who would like their drinking water tested or their service line inspected are encouraged to contact the Village at 269-461-6173.

Officials recommend that you install a water filter if a tested sample exceeds the action level for lead in drinking water (15ppb).

If you do not own a water filter, here are ways you can reduce lead contamination:

  • Run your water for 30 seconds to two minutes to flush out lead after it has been sitting stagnant for 6 hours or more.
  • Clean your faucet aerators, which can trap small pieces of lead.
  • Use only cold water for drinking or cooking; lead dissolves more easily in hot water, so do not try to remove lead by boiling the water.
  • Identify older plumbing fixtures that likely contain lead.

The Berrien County Health Department will provide a free filter and replacement filter cartridges to households with a child or pregnant woman and receives WIC benefits, Medicaid insurance, or cannot afford the filter.

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