PONTIAC (WXYZ) — Recent samples from Ferndale's municipal water system show lead levels exceeding state standards, according to the Michigan Department Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE).
The Oakland County Health Division was recently notified of the findings after routine water testing, which is required by EGLE under Michigan's Safe Drinking Water Act.
Oakland County Health Department is distributing free water filter kits to residents who qualify. The kits will be available Oct. 28, from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Gary Kulick Community Center, 1201 Livernois St. in Ferndale.
“The quality of our drinking water is vital to the health of residents,” Oakland County Executive David Coulter said. “Oakland County stands ready to support our local communities by helping them comply with lead rules, distributing NSF-certified water filters to qualified households, and educating the public.”
Preventive actions taken by collaborating agencies include:
* The City of Ferndale and Michigan Department of Health & Human Services (MDHHS) are conducting water sampling and investigations.
* The Health Division is providing public education and coordinating distribution of free water filter kits to qualifying households. To qualify for a filter the household must:
* Receive water from an affected area
* Have a pregnant woman or at least one child under age 18 living or spending several hours in the home weekly, AND who receives WIC benefits, Medicaid health insurance, or has difficulty affording a filter ($35) or replacement cartridges ($15).
* Answering public questions:
* Health related questions: Oakland County Health Division’s Nurse on Call at 1-800-848-5533, Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m.- 6:00 p.m., Saturdays 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. or firstname.lastname@example.org
* OCHD has a laboratory that is certified to test water for lead and copper. Bottles for these tests can be purchased at Health Division Offices for $24 per testing bottle.
Lead enters drinking water primarily as a result of corrosion, or wearing away, of materials containing lead in the water distribution system and plumbing. These materials include lead-based solder used to join copper pipe, brass and chrome plated brass faucets and fittings, and in some cases, pipes made of lead.
There are several things that you can do to reduce the risk of lead in drinking water:
* If you suspect that your home's plumbing or faucets could contain lead or lead-based solder, you should have your water tested.
* Replace faucets with those made in 2014 or later or marked “NSF 61/9” since they meet stricter limits.
* Flush your cold-water pipes by running the water for approximately five minutes. The longer the water has been sitting in the pipes, the more lead it may contain. You can fill containers for later use, after the flushing process.
* Use cold, filtered water or bottled water for drinking, cooking, and especially for making baby formula. Hot water is likely to contain higher levels of lead.
* You may choose to install a water filter that is certified to NSF/ANSI Standard 53 for lead reduction. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also recommends the filter be certified for NSF/ANSI Standard 42 for particulate reduction (Class 1). If a water filter is installed, replace cartridges at least as often as recommended by the manufacturer.
* Do not boil water to remove lead. Boiling will not remove the lead.
* Clean aerators. Aerators are small attachments at the tops of faucets which regulate flow of water. They can accumulate small particles of lead in their screens. Remove and sanitize monthly.
For additional information, visit www.oakgov.com/health.