How does lead get into the water supply?

Lead can enter drinking water when service pipes or plumbing inside a home contain lead corrode, or break down. Lead from these pipes, faucets, or fixtures can get into the water, especially hot water.

A small number of homes in Benton Harbor were found to have lead levels above the action level. An action level (water lead content > 15 ppb) is the amount of lead that requires an action to reduce lead in drinking water. More testing is underway to learn where the lead is coming from.

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1. What is lead?
2. How can I be exposed to lead?
3. How does lead get into the water supply?
4. How can I prevent being exposed to lead in my water?
5. What should I do if I’m concerned about lead in my drinking water?
6. Why does flushing the water before drinking make it safe?
7. What are some of the health problems lead can cause?
8. Where can I get my child’s blood tested for lead?
9. What does an "elevated blood lead level" mean?
10. Should I have my child tested for lead?
11. What does the data show about children with elevated blood lead levels?
12. Where can I go to get my water tested?
13. Will it cost me anything to get my water tested for lead?
14. How was lead in the water discovered?
15. What is being done to solve this problem?
16. What else is the Berrien County Health Department doing?
17. What is a lead service line?
18. How do I know if I have a lead service line going to my house?
19. What about restaurants in the City of Benton Harbor? What are the recommendations?
20. Where can I go to find more information?