Michigan and water...where do we begin? Though the Mitten has the largest freshwater coastline in the world our state has infamously struggled with keeping our water safe for consumption. In fact, Michigan was just given the distinct "honor" of having two of the most polluted inland lakes in the country.
What's the point of having all this water if we can't even drink it?!
In an effort to keep our water safe for consumption so we don't end up like Flint or Benton Harbor, the City of Kalamazoo is offering several programs to protects residents and families from lead contamination. Says the city,
Lead is a heavy metal that was once used in household paints and for water service lines. That’s banned now, but it still remains in some homes and can cause health problems...We’re working to replace all lead water service lines and protect Kalamazoo families from exposure to lead based paint.
Despite working to remove and replace lead water services throughout the city's water system, officials have made lead-reducing water filters free and available to its residents. When installed correctly these filters "are a safe and effective tool to reduce lead in drinking water."
To claim a free water filter residents who are on the public water system must fill out a "filter request form" which can be found here. If you're unsure that your water is provided by the city you can also check out this map. The city will then provide residents with one free water filtration system and replacement cartridges. If you're unable to install the unit yourself, the city can even come help install it for you!
In addition to the free water filtration program, the City of Kalamazoo also offers free testing for lead and copper in your home's water and they can help with lead-based paint remediation too.
From lead to PFAS to microplastics, these contaminates are nearly inescapable but thankfully the city is making these resources available to reduce Kalamazoo residents' exposure to them. More details on these free programs can be found here.