30ºF

Oakland County providing resources, assistance after lead found in Oak Park water samples

Some residents can get free water filters

Lead levels exceeding state limits were found in water samples taken from Oak Park.

The lead was found during routine testing required by the Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy.

"The quality of our drinking water is vital to the health of Oakland County residents," County Executive David Coulter said. "Oakland County Health Division continues to support our communities with their actionable test results with educating the public, distributing NSF-certified water filters to qualified households, and testing water for lead and copper upon request."

Residents can receive a free water filter if they live in an affected area or have a pregnant woman or at least one child younger than 18 living or spending several hours in the home weekly who receives WIC benefits, Medicaid health insurance or has difficulty affording a filter or replacement cartridges.

Filters are $35 and replacement cartridges are $15.

Those who qualify can pick up free kits can be picked up from 4-7 p.m. Thursday from Oak Park City Hall at 14000 Oak Park Blvd.

Residents who have questions about water testing or service lines can contact the Oak Park Water Department at 248-691-7470.

Health-related questions can be directed to the Oakland County Health Division's Nurse on Call at 800-848-5533 from 8:30 a.m.to 5:00 p.m. Monday-Friday or online at oakgov.com/health.

Here are tips to reduce lead in drinking water from the Health Division:

  • 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 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.

About the Author:

Amber Ainsworth

Amber is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit and graduated from the University of Michigan-Dearborn with a Journalism and Screen Studies degree. She is a writer and photographer who covers music and local beer, when she's not covering news. Amber is also a member of the Michigan National Guard.