By Michigan Department OF Health and Human Services
LANSING, Mich. – Free bottled water continues to be provided by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) for City of Benton Harbor residents for cooking, drinking, brushing teeth, rinsing foods and mixing powdered infant formula. Residents are being reminded that due to the Labor Day holiday, there will not be bottled water distribution on Monday, Sept. 5.
To arrange water delivery to homebound or residents without transportation in the City of Benton Harbor, contact 211, which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Phones that cannot contact 211 should contact 844-875-9211.
City of Benton Harbor residents can pick up water at Boys & Girls Club of Benton Harbor Fettig Youth Campus, 600 Nate Wells Sr. Drive, on the following dates:
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- Saturday, Sept. 3, 12 to 2 p.m.
- Sunday, Sept. 4, 2 to 4 p.m.
- Tuesday, Sept. 6, 9 to 11 a.m.
Southwest Community Action Agency, 331 Miller Street, is hosting water pickup on the following dates:
- Friday, Sept. 2, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Monday, Sept. 5, CLOSED
- Wednesday, Sept. 7, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Thursday, Sept. 8, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The water bottle recycling trailer is now located in Housing Commission parking lot, 721 Nate Wells Sr. Drive. This location is adjacent to the water distribution site at the Boys & Girls Club to continue to allow easy access for empty water bottle recycling for residents.
A recent U.S. Environmental Protection Agency study confirms that certified filters, properly installed and maintained, are effective in reducing lead in Benton Harbor drinking water. The Berrien County Health Department has filters available free of charge.
The ongoing response in Benton Harbor includes the city, Berrien County Health Department, local community organizations, MDHHS and the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer called for the replacement of lead service lines in Benton Harbor in 18 months and the Whitmer-Gilchrist Administration the administration has secured the funding to replace 100 percent of the lines in the city.
There is no cost to City of Benton Harbor residents for lead service line replacement. To assist with assuring the work can be completed as soon as possible, residents are encouraged to complete the Water Service Line Replacement Agreement available online. Contractors cannot begin work on any property without property owner authorization. Completed forms submitted online or returned to Abonmarche, 95 West Main Street, Benton Harbor, MI 49022 or emailed to Sandy Riehl at firstname.lastname@example.org. For questions, call 269-926-4557.
These efforts also include recently approved funds to remove lead from homes in the city. Families living in Benton Harbor can apply for this service by filling out and mailing in an application that is available online. Residents also can call 866-691-5323 to obtain information.
For questions about lead, MDHHS can be reached at 866-691-5323 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.