Testing finds lead in Imlay City water following major main break

Residents urged to use water filters, bottled water


IMLAY CITY, Mich. – Preliminary test results are showing low lead levels in drinking water in Imlay City following a major water main break in Metro Detroit.

Officials announced earlier this week that sampling and testing of water at Imlay City homes has revealed “low levels of lead detected in several homes.” Water testing was carried out after a leak was discovered in a major water transmission main at the Great Lakes Water Authority’s Lake Huron treatment facility in mid-August.

Officials say that some test data is still pending, but are urging residents to take precautions in the meantime due to the preliminary results.

Imlay City residents can continue to use tap water to wash hands, bathe and do laundry, officials said. Residents are urged to use a water filter that can help reduce lead levels in the water if the water is to be consumed.

“All homes, especially homes with children and pregnant persons, may want to consider using a certified lead reducing filter or bottled water for drinking, cooking, brushing teeth and making infant formula,” Imlay City police said.

The Lapeer County Health Department, in coordination with the state, has been handing out free bottled water and lead-reducing water filters to residents this week. Residents who were unable to attend the distribution events can contact the city at 810-724-2135 to request a filter or ask about bottled water.

Anyone with questions can call 800-MI-TOXIC (800-648-6942).

Officials say the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services will continue testing Imlay City’s water for lead and “other health parameters” following the GLWA water main break.

When the main break was first announced on Aug. 13, more than 20 Metro Detroit communities were placed under a boil water advisory due to an impact in water pressure. Those advisories have since been lifted, but water pressure continues to be impacted in affected communities.

Crews were working to completely close the water main on Thursday after a replacement pipe was delivered to the repair site.

Learn more: Crews installing new pipe at Metro Detroit water main break site, working to ‘fully close’ main

Related: Boil water advisory lifted for Novi after testing shows no bacteria present

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Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.