EPA to begin testing water at 300 Benton Harbor homes

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Water flows from a bathroom tap. (Photo Illustration by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Officials with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will soon start testing the water in 300 homes in a Michigan city where there’s been a lead crisis to check certified filters given area residents by the state to remove lead from the drinking water.

EPA officials will collect water samples in Benton Harbor, according to The Herald-Palladium. The process is expected to last several weeks.

“Starting next week, we will be going into homes and collecting water that goes both through the filter and the water itself without the filters,” Tera Fong, from the EPA’s Region 5 office in Chicago, told the newspaper Friday. “It’s about a 30-minute home visit.”

The move comes after the federal agency ordered the Michigan city to fix problems at the water plant. The order includes an analysis of whether ownership of the plant should be transferred from Benton Harbor.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has promised to spend millions of dollars to replace the city’s lead service lines.

Much of the water distribution in the city of roughly 9,100 residents is around 100 years old. The predominantly Black, mostly low-income community is about 100 miles (160 kilometers) from Chicago.

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