Lead Service Line Testing
Our Goal Is to Ensure Safe Drinking Water for All of Our Residents.
Due to recent reports regarding lead found in the homes of surrounding cities, we wanted to keep our community updated about the water testing happening in Berkley.
We would like to note that much of what you see in the media is specific to individual water quality tests from homes with lead service lines, not the public water system. The drinking water produced by water suppliers, including our own Great Lakes Water Authority, DOES NOT contain lead.
While lead contamination was brought to the forefront following the Flint Water Crisis, we have NOT changed the source of the City's water supply as what was done for the Flint system in 2014. Great Lakes Water Authority does apply corrosion control and this revised testing procedure is a proactive way to evaluate its effectiveness.
Is Our Water Tested?
We monitor our public water system through weekly tests for bacteria. In addition, lead and copper testing have taken place since 1992 in accordance with the Michigan Safe Drinking Water Act.
Having safe, clean, healthy drinking water is a top priority for the City which is why DPW worked to complete the testing well in advance of the deadline set by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE).
What is a water service line?
It is the pipe that brings the water into your home. It can be made out of copper, lead, galvanized steel or plastic. It also only connects directly to the individual home and is NOT a reflection of the entire public water distribution system.
Why does our community have lead piping at all?
Many homes built prior to 1960 had water service lines installed that were lead because it was easily accessible and was well suited for making pipes at the time. Additionally, lead can also be present inside the home in fixtures and faucets.
Michigan Safe Drinking Water Act Amended in 2018
In 2018, the Michigan Safe Drinking Water Act was amended and it requires testing of 30 homes with lead service lines to check lead levels. This amended rule resulted in more lead testing not because the water quality for residents has changed, but because the act now has a more stringent sampling process.
Want to learn more about the new amendment?
How Does This Affect You?
We have conducted our water testing of 30 Berkley homes that have lead service lines and submitted the reports to the State for review.
The thirty homes selected to be testing sites were NOT the result of any finding, determination or expectation that the drinking water in the home contains lead. The sites were selected based on the following:
- Homes that were previously on the testing cycle
- Records indicate the home has a lead service line on their property
- The homes are spread out across the entire community
For any resident looking to have the water tested in their home:
- The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) published a list of state laboratories that are certified for lead testing at www.michigan.gov/EGLElabs. In addition, the Oakland County Health Divison offers testing kits for around $20. For more information, you can contact Oakland County at 248-858-1280.
Want to learn more about how to reduce lead exposure and clean faucet aerators?
Next Steps for the City
Now that the testing in Berkley is complete, we are currently working on the City's preliminary inventory of lead lines report which must be submitted to EGLE by January 1, 2020. After this is complete, we can start the process of lead line replacements.
For more questions, contact the Berkley Department of Public Works at 248-658-3490.