As lead service line replacement in Benton Harbor nears completion, the Berrien County Health Department is reminding residents that free lead filters, cartridges and installation assistance are available and sharing important filter maintenance tips.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is advising residents to wait until their home lead inspection is completed before using tap water for drinking and cooking. Filtered or bottled water should be used until the resident’s inspection is completed. To apply for a home lead inspection, visit www.bit.ly/leadsafehomeapplication.
Benton Harbor residents continue to be able to access free certified water filters, replacement cartridges and filter installation assistance from the Berrien County Health Department.
To access these resources, residents can call 1.800.815.5485 option 2, visit the Berrien County Health Department at 2149 E. Napier Ave. from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday or stop by the Center for Better Health at 100 W. Main St. from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. Both locations are in Benton Harbor, and neither requires appointments.
Individuals who need assistance installing a filter are encouraged to contact BCHD at 1.800.815.5485. An MDHHS representative then will visit the home to help ensure the filter is properly installed and functioning.
The Health Department also urges residents to make sure they are completing proper filter maintenance, including cartridge replacement and regular aerator cleaning to ensure the unit is operating optimally.
Cartridges should be replaced every two months or when the filter’s indicator light flashes red, whichever comes first. Residents receive six months’ worth of cartridges when they initially receive their filter and can contact the Health Department any time to receive more. Faucet aerators should be cleaned every six months, or monthly if construction or public water system repairs are happening near your home until work is complete. Simply unscrew the aerator, soak it in vinegar, scrub and reattach.
For more information, visit www.bchdmi.org/LeadFilters.