The Oklahoman

Michigan city deals with lead in water


HAMTRAMCK, Mich. – Another Michigan city is giving filters to residents as a result of high lead results in some drinking water samples.

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

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

“The water itself is fine. The issue is the outdated lead services lines that in some cases are leaching lead into the water into individual homes,” Mayor Karen Majewski said.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 affected, adding: “People don’t need to panic.”

Across the state in Benton Harbor, residents have been urged to use only bottled water for cooking and drinking due to elevated lead levels. The problem in both communitie­s, officials say, 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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