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Testing kits distributed after Benton Harbor water under advisory for lead

Associated Press
A water tower near downtown Benton Harbor.

Benton Harbor – Residents of Benton Harbor are getting free kits to test water at their homes after the southwestern Michigan city’s water system was placed under a state advisory due to higher-than-acceptable levels of lead .

The Herald-Palladium reports dozens of Benton Harbor residents picked up kits this week.

The advisory from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality notes that out of water samples collected from 30 homes this summer, eight were above an action level for lead. Elevated levels of lead in drinking water can cause health problems and developmental delays in children.

From left, Benton Harbor Mayor Marcus Muhammad, Benton Harbor City Manager Darwin Watson and Berrien County Medical Director Dr. Rick Johansen hold a press conference Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018, at City Hall in Benton Harbor, Mich., to let the public know that the city's water system is under a state advisory for lead after summer sampling revealed higher-than-acceptable levels.

Benton Harbor Water Superintendent Mike O’Malley says bottled water is already being given to the residents of the eight homes. He said more homes will be added if they are found to have high lead levels in their water.