Hamtramck in Detroit area is latest facing lead in water

Oct 21, 2021, 7:04 PM | Updated: Oct 22, 2021, 7:07 am

HAMTRAMCK, Mich. (AP) — Another Michigan city is giving filters to residents as a result of high lead results in some drinking water samples.

Hamtramck, in the Detroit area, is a 2-square-mile (5.2-square-kilometer) city with 28,000 residents, many of them immigrants from Bangladesh, Yemen and other countries.

Seven hundred filters were passed out Thursday and another 900 will be distributed next week, said City Manager Kathleen Angerer.

“The water itself is fine. The issue is the outdated lead services lines that in some cases are leaching lead into the water into individual homes,” Mayor Karen Majewski said.

She said not every home is affected, adding: “People don’t need to panic.”

LaTonya Hatcher, 49, was in line.

“I want to get a filter for the sink,” she said. “I live in a newer neighborhood and the pipes might be fine, but I was walking by and saw they were giving out filters, so I thought I should ask if I need one.”

Across the state in Benton Harbor, residents there have been urged to use only bottled water for cooking and drinking due to elevated lead levels. The problem in both communities, according to officials, is old lines that need to be replaced.

Majewski said Hamtramck has replaced 260 lead lines over the past year but needs money to remove more.

Michigan has been in the spotlight when it comes to lead in drinking water. In 2014, state-appointed managers in Flint switched the city’s water source. The water, however, wasn’t treated to control corrosion, which caused lead on old pipes to contaminate the system.

Thousands of home service lines have been replaced, and Flint has returned to a regional water supplier.

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Hamtramck in Detroit area is latest facing lead in water