Elevated lead levels found in Dearborn Heights drinking water

Posted at 1:08 PM, Oct 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-23 15:45:11-04

DEARBORN HEIGHTS, Mich. (WXYZ) — Elevated lead levels have been found in Dearborn Heights drinking water, city officials say.

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The elevated lead levels were found at 5 of the 30 sites tested and they exceeded the "action level." This level is not a health-based standard, but it is a level that triggers additional actions including increased investigating sampling of water quality and educational outreach to customers.

“It is discouraging to, once again, see elevated lead levels in residents’ tap water, but — as I’m doing for other parts of my district — I will continue to have discussions with the appropriate authorities on how best to help those affected by this issue," said Senator Betty Jean Alexander in a statement. “It is also important for people to understand that we are hearing more reports of lead being found in drinking water in cities across Michigan because newer, tougher standards are now being used to protect the public’s health. Water advisories, like the most recent one issued in Dearborn Heights, remind us of how important it is for us to work together and make real investments to improving our aging infrastructure.”

Lead can enter drinking water when in contact with pipes, solder, home/building interior plumbing, fittings and fixtures that contain lead. Homes with lead service lines have an increased risk of having high lead levels in drinking water. The more time water has been sitting in your home’s pipes, the more lead it may contain.

Therefore, if your water has not been used for several hours, run the water before using it for drinking or cooking. This flushes lead-containing water from the pipes. Additional flushing may be required for homes that have been vacant or have a longer service line.

The city will be collecting 60 samples every six months and reviewing the results to determine if corrective actions are necessary to reduce corrosion in household plumbing.

The Wayne County Health Division will provide free water filters for economically disadvantaged residents of Dearborn Heights. Those residents have to have children, be pregnant women or those enrolled in the WIC program or Medicaid. For more information, call the Wayne County Public Health Division at (734) 727-7400.