Elevated lead levels found in Hamtramck water; distribution of filters happening Thursday

Water near Selfridge tests positive for PFAS
Posted at 12:52 PM, Oct 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-20 23:08:59-04

(WXYZ) — The City of Hamtramck is distributing free water filters to homes after elevated lead levels were found in the water during recent testing.

According to the City of Hamtramck, they tested water samples from 42 homes, and six homes were above the action level for lead of 15 parts per billion. The 90th percentile for the city's water supply is 17 parts per billion.

The goal is 0 ppb as there is no safe level of lead in the blood.

“We do a sampling every year of our lead service lines, and there were 6 homes that exceeded the allowable limit of 15 parts per billion," said Hamtramck City Manager Kathleen Angerer. "We would like to have a zero level of lead in our drinking water. Every family deserves safe drinking water in Michigan.”

“It wasn't too surprising knowing that the pipes are really old in this neighborhood,” said Hamtramck resident Noah Gaber. “As long as they’re informing everybody and offering resources then the situation should be alright.”

Residents like Gaber are now wondering about their own homes. According to the City Manager, the 6 homes with elevated levels now have filters and the City is providing more to anyone who wants one.

“If i can make it tomorrow I’d like to get one," said resident John Haddad.

Hamtramck is far from the first community in the state to deal with this problem, which can pose serious health concerns especially to children.

“The reason why it’s so detrimental to children is that's their developmental time," said Dr. Asha Shajahan, a Family Physician with Beaumont Health. "It can really cause developmental delays, it can cause issues again with attention and with their growth as well.”

Angerer says the City is now in the process of replacing all of it’s lead pipes. They plan to have 300 replaced by the end of the year, leaving nearly 6,000 still to go.

“We just need to urge our elected officials, our Governor, our members of Congress to work on a plan that provides funds for communities like Hamtramck," Angerer said.

The city will distribute one free water filter with replacement cartridges on Thursday, Oct. 21 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Hamtramck Town Center parking lot at 9521 Joseph Campau.

The city also has these tips:

  • Run your water to flush out lead-containing water.
    • If you do not have a lead service line, run the water for 30 seconds to two minutes, or until it becomes cold or reaches a steady temperature.
    • `If you do have a lead service line, run the water for three to five minutes to flush water from your home of building's plumbing and the lead service line.

Hamtramck is also asking people to check whether they have a lead service line.

If you would like your line inspected or tested, you can contact the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services at 844-934-1315.