What has changed?
Michigan has adopted a series of changes to the Lead and Copper Rule, part of the Michigan Safe Drinking Water Act. Water suppliers are now required to test the first and fifth liter of water collected from a homeowner’s tap. As a result, it is expected that some additional public water supplies will have Action Level Exceedances (ALEs), resulting in additional identification and evaluation of lead and/or copper drinking water levels in consumer’s homes by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS).
Prior to the adoption of the new Michigan Lead and Copper Rule in June 2018, Michigan’s requirements were consistent with the federal Lead and Copper Rule. The new Michigan rule includes targeted changes that are detailed here.
Water systems must now create a distribution system materials inventory that identifies the material of all service lines in the distribution system, including the portions on both public and private property. Water supplies must also notify residents within 30 days if they live in a house with a lead service line.
How was lead in the water discovered in my community?
The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) require public water supplies to test regularly for lead and copper in drinking water. The regularly scheduled testing discovered lead was in the water. Note: This only applies if your community has issued an Action Level Exceedance.
Some water supplies have incomplete service line records, which means they may not know which houses have a lead service line and which ones do not. Completing a service line inventory is a critical starting point for protecting consumers from lead in drinking water. It is important for water suppliers to let consumers know if they have a lead service line so they can take precautions in their home. The inventory is necessary for water supplies to plan and implement lead service line removal requirements. It also identifies buildings that meet criteria to include in a water supply’s Lead and Copper Rule sampling pool.