Dec 2, 2022
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHSS) continues to remind residents in the City of Benton Harbor to take advantage of the free in-home lead inspection program. The program is offered as part of the historic Benton Harbor Water Project, which is now 99 percent complete.
“We are really looking to conduct lead inspections, especially in homes where children are present, whether they live there, or spend considerable time there," said Traci-Ann Jennings, MDHSS project manager. "We are looking to engage partners and agencies that reach families with children, so we can get this message out.”
Applications can be filled out online, at https://www.michigan.gov/mileadsafe, or picked up in person at various locations, including The Center For Better Health, 100 W. Main St., Benton Harbor, and the main entrance at City Hall, 200 E. Wall St., Benton Harbor.
Forms are also available at key departments, including the City Clerk's Office, Community Development Department, and the Water Department. For further information, call 866-691-5323 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Bottled Water Update
Free bottled water continues to be provided by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) for City of Benton Harbor residents for cooking, drinking, brushing teeth, rinsing foods and mixing powdered infant formula.
City of Benton Harbor residents can pick up water at the Boys & Girls Club of Benton Harbor Fettig Youth Campus, 600 Nate Wells Sr. Drive, on the following dates:
• Saturday, Nov. 5, 12 to 2 p.m.
• Sunday, Nov. 6, 2 to 4 p.m.
Southwest Community Action Agency, 331 Miller St., is hosting water pickup on the following dates:
• Thursday, Nov. 3, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
• Friday, Nov. 4, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
• Monday, Nov. 7, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
To arrange water delivery to homebound or residents without transportation in the City of Benton Harbor, contact 211, which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Phones that cannot contact 211 should contact 844-875-9211.
Bottled Water Recycling
The water bottle recycling trailer is now located in Housing Commission parking lot, 721 Nate Wells Sr. Drive. This location is adjacent to the water distribution site at the Boys & Girls Club to continue to allow easy access for empty water bottle recycling for residents.
Volunteers have currently filled a fifteenth semi-trailer, after the thirteenth and fourteenth were picked up on Oct. 6 and 19, Jennings said. So far, a total of 30,235 pounds of recycling has been collected.
A recent U.S. Environmental Protection Agency study confirms that certified filters, properly installed and maintained, are effective in reducing lead in Benton Harbor drinking water. The Berrien County Health Department has filters available free of charge.
The ongoing response in Benton Harbor includes the city, Berrien County Health Department, local community organizations, MDHHS and the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer called for the replacement of lead service lines in Benton Harbor in 18 months and the Whitmer-Gilchrist Administration the administration has secured the funding to replace 100 percent of the lines in the city.
There is no cost to City of Benton Harbor residents for lead service line replacement. To assist with assuring the work can be completed as soon as possible, residents are encouraged to complete the Water Service Line Replacement Agreement available online. Contractors cannot begin work on any property without property owner authorization.
Completed forms may be submitted online or returned to Abonmarche, 95 West Main St., Benton Harbor, MI 49022, or emailed to Sandy Riehl at: email@example.com. For questions, call 269-926-4557.