Construction Activity Could Affect Your Drinking Water Quality

Upcoming construction activity in your neighborhood could affect your drinking water quality. We anticipate this project will proceed smoothly, with every effort made to minimize any inconvenience to you during construction. 
Our records indicate that in your neighborhood, some of the pipes connecting homes to the water mains may be made of lead. Lead service lines can increase your risk of exposure to lead through drinking water, especially when the ground is disturbed close to your home. This increased risk is because the ground disturbance could cause particulates to shake free from inside the network of underground pipes. Your water may appear discolored.
During this construction and until lead service lines are replaced, you should take precautions to minimize exposure to lead in your drinking water by taking the following actions:


Aerator
1. Clean your faucet aerator
The aerator on the end of your faucet is a screen that will catch debris. This debris could include particles of lead which have fallen off the insides of lead pipe. The aerator should be removed at least monthly to rinse out any debris. During this upcoming construction activity, check your aerator more often. Start by checking it weekly and if no debris is present, return to a monthly schedule.
2. Flush your pipes before drinking
The longer water sits in your home piping, the more lead may leach from lead-containing pipes, solder or brass fixtures. Anytime a faucet used for drinking or food prep has not been used for six hours or longer, the tap should be "flushed" by turning on the cold water and letting it run until it is as cold as possible. Flushing should not take long (5-30 seconds) if there has been routine daily water use. If there has not been recent daily water use, it could take two minutes or longer for the water to become cold. Your water utility can tell you if longer flushing times are needed if you do not get cold water in a few minutes.
open aerator
3. Do not boil water to remove lead
Boiling will not remove the lead.    

4. Use a filter

You may also wish to use a home filter for water to be used for drinking and cooking, particularly if you are pregnant or have children under age six. This equipment is especially important if you are making baby formula. Make sure the filter is certified to meet NSF53, the NSF standard for particulate lead removal. Be sure to replace a filter device as often as the manufacturer recommends. Contact NSF International at 800-NSF-8010 or visit their websites at www.nsf.org for water filter performance standards.

Additional Info:
Information about lead service lines, as well as important information about the harmful effects of lead and steps you can take to protect against lead exposure, is available on our website at www.michigan.gov/deq or contact the Environmental Assistance Center at 800-662-9278 or deq-assist@michigan.gov.