High lead levels detected in Hamtramck homes; city passing out water filters Thursday

A recent sample of lead testing in Hamtramck homes revealed at least six homes of 42 reported lead levels that exceeded state and federal safety limits. 

State policy dictates that when lead levels reach Action Level - exceeding 15 parts per billion - additional testing and sampling is triggered to ensure more homes aren't seeing higher lead levels as well.

In addition to more monitoring, Hamtramck officials are also handing out water filters to residents, which can be picked up at the Town Center on Joseph Campau.

"The ‘Action Level’ is not a health-based standard, but it is a level that triggers additional actions including, but not limited to, increased investigative sampling of water quality and educational outreach to customers in accordance with the Michigan Safe Drinking Water Act," read a letter the city sent to residents.

No stranger to issues with its water infrastructure, Michigan is continuing to manage the fallout from the Flint Water Crisis and is also dealing with a new threat of eroding lead lines in Benton Harbor. 

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The latest lead detection in Hamtramck has prompted an alert from the city that advises residents to install water filters and run water for three to five minutes in homes with lead pipes. Those without lead lines are still advised to flush their water by about 30 seconds. 

Boiling water has no effect since it does not reduce the amount of lead in water

Lead exposure can lead to neurological issues. 

Hamtramck reports that 300 of its lead service lines have been replaced following a state mandate that orders all cities to remove their lead lines within their communities over the next few years. Residents who would like their service line inspected and drinking water tested can reach out to the health department at 844-934-1315.

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Residents are also advised to pick up a water filter at the town center, which is located at 9521 Joseph Campau, between 11 a.m and 2 p.m. More distribution events will be scheduled and posted in the upcoming weeks. 

This is the city's 11th lead violation in the last 30 years.