Residents line up for free filters after discovery of lead in Highland Park tap water

Hundreds of residents battle dangerous heat to get water filters

HIGHLAND PARK, Mich. – After discovering high lead levels in tap water, Highland Park officials are mobilizing to help residents and head off potential problems.

Highland Park residents braved a blazing summer sun Thursday to pick up water filters at the fire station. The line formed next to the station and wound around the building and up the street.

ORIGINAL STORY: Highland Park officials urge residents to get water tested after elevated lead levels detected

While there's never a good time for this type of crisis, resident Delores Craig said this is particularly bad timing.

"It's hot now, so it's a surprise at this time that we would be going through this here," Craig said.

RELATED: What's in your water? Here's how to find out

Other residents wanted to make sure their home tap water was safe and didn't wait for the city's free, state-provided water filters.

Residents are required to have proof of residency to get their PUR filter.

City officials are also asking everyone to sign up for water lead-level testing with the Highland Park Water Department and for children under 6 years old to sign up for blood lead-level testing.

"I can't say I'm real happy because I have to do this instead of going straight to the faucet," Craig said. "It's, like, 'OK, I've got to learn something all over again.'"

Not everyone was put off by the process. Resident Tommy Carter was first in line.

"Actually, I'm glad they're going this," Carter said. "You've got to start somewhere, so this is a good start. We need to go farther, check out the whole system and see what really happened."

City officials want everyone to have water filters because they're more environmentally sustainable than bottled water, but many people want to have bottled water, as well.

Great Lakes Wine and Spirits donated and other businesses are donating bottled water, and there's a plan to start distributing it at 10 a.m. Monday.

The Highland Park Fire Department will be open for filter distribution from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Click here to learn more about Highland Park water.

Click here for information about private wells.

If you live in Highland Park and want your tap water tested, call 313-865-1876.

About the Authors: