Lead Service Line Testing
The Berkley Department of Public Works (DPW) will begin the process of collecting test samples from homes with lead water service lines. This process has been occurring in the City and around the State for several years but is being expanded due to new standards set by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE). The new State standard, applied to every municipality in Michigan, changed both the method of how the samples are taken and increased the testing sites from five properties to thirty.
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 merely on the premise that 1) records indicate the home has a lead service line on their property, and 2) the homes are spread out across the entire community. Participation is entirely voluntary and homeowners who agree to perform the annual water test will receive further information explaining the process soon.
It is important to note that drinking water produced by water suppliers, including our own Great Lakes Water Authority, does not contain lead. We test homes because lead may get into a home’s drinking water due to a home’s lead service line, internal plumbing, or faucet fixtures. This is also why we do not need to test homes with copper or plastic (pex) piping.
While lead contamination was brought to the forefront following the Flint Water Crisis, the City of Berkley has NOT changed the source of the water supply as was done for the Flint system in 2014. In addition, the water suppliers in Flint failed to apply proper corrosion control measures to the new water supply and associated pipe network. Great Lakes Water Authority does apply corrosion control and this revised testing procedure is a proactive way to evaluate its effectiveness.
Having safe, clean, healthy drinking water is a top priority for the City which is why DPW is working to complete the testing well in advance of the deadline set by EGLE.
If you have any questions regarding the lead testing process or need more information please visit the EGLE website at michigan.gov/egle or contact the Berkley Department of Public Works at (248) 658-3490.