Elevated levels of lead found in water of some St. Clair Shores homes

Posted at 3:15 PM, Nov 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-05 17:33:42-05

ST. CLAIR SHORES, Mich. (WXYZ) — The city of St. Clair Shores has issued a public advisory after elevated levels of lead were found in some homes tested.

According to the city, they tested 32 homes with lead service lines, and of those, four levels exceeded the Action Level of 15 parts per billion (ppb).

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) evaluates compliance with the Action Level based on the 90th percentile of all lead and copper results collected in each round of sampling. As a result of testing under a new method, the lead 90th percentile for the St. Clair Shores water supply is 21 ppb, which exceeds the Action Level of 15 ppb.

The city said that of 25,303 water customers, about 656 have lead service lines.

According to the city, they will provide lead filters or pitcher filters to any water customer that has lead service lines in their home.

The city said it will also begin replacing lead service lines in 2020 with about 7 percent of the lines being replaced per year.

“Although less than 3 percent of our water customers are affected, we want to be proactive and alert all of our water customers—whether their house has lead service lines or not—to be vigilant and take steps to reduce the risk of any lead exposure,” stated Mayor Kip Walby. “We will continue testing and provide our citizens with information and public education about lead in drinking water and what we as water consumers can do to minimize the risk in our own homes.

The City is also hosting a St. Clair Shores Lead Safe Open House & Water Filter Distribution on Thursday, November 7 from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the St. Clair Shores Senior Activity Center at 20000 Stephens (between I-94 and Little Mack).

There, residents can meet with reps from the county and state health departments, or the city, to talk abotu lead-related health concerns.

Complimentary faucet filters or pitcher filters will be available to citizens who meet the following State-mandated qualifications:

1) A child under 18 lives at the address
2) A child under 18 frequently spends time at this address (“frequently” means that a resident of the household provides care for at least several days per week for a few hours per day over three or more months per year)
3) A pregnant woman lives at the address.
4) A person receiving WIC benefits or Medicaid insurance lives at this address
5) A person can’t afford a filter and replacement cartridges (filters cost about $35 and replacement filters cost about $15)

Below are some recommended actions to help reduce lead exposure.

  • 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 at least five minutes to flush water from your home of building’s plumbing and the lead service line.
  • Consider using a filter to reduce lead in drinking water. Public health recommends that any household with a child or pregnant woman use a certified lead filter to remove lead from their drinking water.
  • Look for filters that are tested and certified to NSF/ANSI Standard 53 for lead reduction.
  • Be sure to maintain and replace the filter device in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions to protect water quality.
  • If your household has a child or pregnant woman and are not able to afford the cost of a lead filter, please contact your County Health Department.
  • Use cold water for drinking, cooking, or preparing baby formula.
  • Do not boil your water as boiling will not reduce the amount of lead in water.
  • Clean your faucet aerator to remove trapped debris.