Last week, Highland Park city officials announced that testing in nine residences in revealed elevated levels of lead. Officials urged caution, recommending that residents run their faucets between 30 seconds and five minutes before using it.
But just the phrase “lead in water” can be triggering for Michiganders who are aware of the ongoing epidemic in Flint due to contaminated water.
Detroit Today host Stephen Henderson talks with Highland Park’s Water Department about the high lead levels showing up in some resident’s drinking water.
Highland Park Water Department Director Damon Garrett says it’s not that the water has gotten worse, it’s that there is a more aggressive testing regimen sampling more homes and showing more problems. “In years prior, the statute required testing to be done in five homes every three years, and after Flint,” the testing statute changed, explains Garrett.
As for where the lead is coming from, Garrett says the city is “trying to pinpoint exactly where the issue is, but the first thing we are starting with is changing the filters, the aerators, on the faucets.”
He says the water is safe to drink, and believes the more extensive water testing regulations are actually a good thing.