Highland Park Water Department: 9 homes have high lead levels in water

Residents advised to run water, flush out lead


HIGHLAND PARK, Mich. – Testing revealed nine homes in Highland Park have a high level of lead in tap water, the Highland Park Water Department announced in a letter to customers on Wednesday.

The water department is instructing residents to run the water to flush out lead and to get the water tested. Here is a statement from the water department:

"This summer, we collected samples from 36 homes. EGLE evaluates compliance with the Action Level based on the 90th percentile of all lead and copper results collected in each round of sampling. The lead 90th percentile for the City’s water supply is 57 parts per billion (ppb), which exceeds the Action Level of 15 ppb.

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. Because 9 homes were over the Action Level for lead, the Highland Park Water Department would like to share some ways you can reduce your exposure to lead since lead can cause serious health problems if too much enters your body from drinking water and other sources.

The most important thing you can do is let the water run to flush out lead. 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."

Residents are instructed to:

  • Run your water to flush out the lead-containing water.
  • If you do not have a lead service line, run the water for thirty (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.
  • Use cold water for drinking, cooking, or preparing baby formula.
  • 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. If you are not able to afford the cost of a lead filter, please contact the Wayne County Health Department at 734-727-7100.
  • Do not boil your water as boiling will not reduce the amount of lead in water.
  • Check whether your home has a lead service line.

If you are a Highland Park Water Department customer and would like your water service line inspected or would like to have your drinking water tested for lead, contact the Water Department at (313) 865-1876.

Additional information regarding the lead can be found here.

About the Author:

Dave Bartkowiak Jr. is the digital managing editor for ClickOnDetroit.