Grand Rapids water lead water levels at all time low

Posted at 11:10 AM, Feb 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-05 11:11:07-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – With the focus on lead contamination in drinking water, the City of Grand Rapids is happily announcing that lead levels in system water is at an all-time low.

In a report released Friday from Joellen Thompson, the water system manager at the Grand Rapids Water System, lead levels in city water has improved consistently over the last 20 years and are holding steady. 11 straight readings have shown declining lead levels.


“What happened to Flint’s water supply would not happen here because we consistently operate and have utilized a safe and reliable water source, Lake Michigan, since the 1940’s,” said Eric DeLong, deputy city manager, in a release. “Also, our team of water treatment professionals have added phosphates to our water since 1994 to reduce corrosion and coat and treat the lead pipes.”

According to Thompson, the problems in Flint when the water source changed from Lake Huron to the Flint River and officials did not add phosphates to the water. They also did not test the water quality prior to switching the source, according to Thompson.

DeLong says that the city will replace the city-owned portion of service lines and will help finance the customer’s portion of the service line into the home if customers are concerned about lead in their drinking water.  However, he says that most of the lead contamination in older Grand Rapids homes is caused by lead-based paint chips, dust, and tainted soil.

Anyone looking for information on lead testing for their children can call the Health Department at 632-7063 or the Healthy Homes Coalition at 241-3300.