Wednesday, March 16, 2022

MDHHS won’t say filtered Benton Harbor water is safe to drink, but residents can decide what’s best for themselves

"All this leaves Benton Harbor residents without satisfying answers about the safety of their water."

Michigan Radio | By Lindsey Smith

Published March 14, 2022


For five months, state health officials have told Benton Harbor residents not to drink their tap water. The warning came after an inspection at the city’s water treatment plant uncovered numerous violations related to disinfection. Michigan’s Department of Health and Human Services also cited ongoing elevated lead levels. But now that safety message is shifting.

Teams of workers from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency went into nearly 200 Benton Harbor homes to get water samples late last year. Tera Fong is the Water Division Director for the EPA region that includes Michigan.

“We found that properly operated filters were successful in reducing lead considerably and consistently with the performance expectations of those filters. We did see firsthand that that filters were often not operated and installed properly,” Fong said earlier this month.

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