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Health Department
Health and Community Services
43525 Elizabeth Road, Mount Clemens, MI 48043
(586) 469-5235

Contact: John Cwikla

Phone: 586-469-7001



November 04, 2019

Macomb County Health Department Assists St. Clair Shores with Lead Prevention Efforts

The Macomb County Health Department is assisting St. Clair Shores following notification from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) that samples from the St. Clair Shores municipal water system have lead levels in the drinking water exceeding revised state standards. Water testing occurred as part of routine compliance sampling required by EGLE under Michigan’s Safe Drinking Water Act.

The Macomb County Health Department and St. Clair Shores are collaborating with other agencies on the following preventive actions:

  • The Health Department is providing public education and coordinating distribution of free water filter kits to qualifying households. To qualify for a filter the household must:
    • Receive water from an affected area.
    • Have a pregnant woman or at least one child under age 18 living or spending several hours in the home weekly who receives WIC benefits, Medicaid health insurance or has difficulty affording a filter ($35) or replacement cartridges ($15)
  • Water filter kits will be available to St. Clair Shores residents who qualify at the St. Clair Shores Lead Safe Open House & Water Filter Distribution event:
    • Thursday, November 7, 2019; 4 p.m. – 8 p.m.
      St. Clair Shores Senior Activity Center 20000
      Stephens (Between I-94 and Little Mack)
  • Answering public questions:
    • For water testing/lead service line questions, contact the St. Clair Shores lead safe hotline: 586-447-3305
    • For health related questions, contact the Macomb County Health Department Public Health Nursing program at (586) 469-5520. Contact your primary care physician for testing your child’s blood for lead poisoning.

"The Macomb County Health Department is supporting the City of St. Clair Shores by distributing filters to qualifying families and by providing public education on ways to lower exposure to lead," said William Ridella, director/health officer for the Macomb County Health Department. "We recommend that households with a child or pregnant woman in this community use a certified lead filter to remove lead from their drinking water."

Lead enters drinking water primarily as a result of corrosion, or wearing away, of materials containing lead in the water distribution system and plumbing. These materials include lead-based solder used to join copper pipe, brass and chrome plated brass faucets and fittings and water service lines made of lead. More common sources of lead exposure include lead-based paint chips, dust, soil and imported goods. Populations at the highest risk of lead poisoning include children under 6-years-old living in older homes or homes with lead paint, pregnant women, adults exposed to lead due to their occupation and refugees.

The following actions can help reduce your exposure to lead in drinking water:

  • Replace faucets with those made in 2014 or later or marked “NSF 61/9” since they meet stricter limits.
  • If you do not have a lead service line, run the water for 30 seconds to two minutes, or until it becomes cold or reaches a steady temperature.
  • If you do have a lead service line, run the water for at least five minutes to flush water from your home or the building’s plumbing and the lead service line.
  • Use cold, filtered water or bottled water for cooking and preparing baby formula. Hot water is likely to contain higher levels of lead.
  • Do not boil water to remove lead. Boiling will not reduce or remove the lead.
  • Look for alternative drinking water sources or treatment of water. You may want to consider purchasing bottled water or a water filter.
  • Have your water tested for lead if you suspect that your home’s plumbing or faucets could contain lead or lead-based solder.
  • Clean aerators. Aerators are small attachments at the top of the faucets which regulate the flow of water. They can accumulate small particles of lead in their screens. They should be removed and sanitized monthly.
  • Install a water filter that is certified to NSF/ANSI Standard 53 for lead reduction. The EPA also recommends the filter be certified for NSF/ANSI Standard 42 for particulate reduction (Class 1). If a water filter is installed, replace cartridges at least as often as recommended by the manufacturer.

Additional Resources:

MI Lead Safe Lead and Copper Rule Frequently Asked Questions

MI Lead Safe Drinking Water

St. Clair Shores – Lead Safe Website

Public Advisory – St. Clair Shores

Macomb County Health Department



43525 Elizabeth Road, Mount Clemens, MI, 48043

General Media Inquires - please contact John Cwikla at 586-463-3523