EPA confirms filters reduce lead in Michigan city's waterThe filters distributed in Benton Harbor, Michigan during the city’s recent lead wate...EPA confirms filters reduce lead in Michigan city's water
The filters distributed in Benton Harbor, Michigan during the city’s recent lead water crisis worked properly, according to a study state officials said was conducted to give residents assurance.
Michigan officials said the study was done “out of an abundance of caution” after residents and advocates in Benton Harbor slammed the state's slow response to the city's lead problem and requested more aggressive actions — including a study of the filters.
“We found that properly operated filters were successful in reducing lead considerably and consistently,” said Tera Fong, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's water division director for the region that includes Michigan.
But Fong noted the agency also found the filters were not being used properly in many cases, and that public outreach could help address the problem.
The filters were distributed in early 2019 after tests revealed high lead levels in the tap water of Benton Harbor. After elevated lead levels persisted, residents and activists raised concerns that the majority Black city was being ignored even in the wake of the crisis in Flint. Soon after, officials promised stronger corrective measures, including a filter study.