ALMONT, Mich. – The tap water in one of Michigan’s oldest villages showed no signs of lead contamination when tested after the main supply line from Lake Huron broke.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services said it tested water in 17 homes in the village of Almont, located in Lapeer County, about 8 miles south of Imlay, and none of the 62 samples tested positive for lead above 4 parts per billion.
Almont was one of three municipalities in Lapeer County that used backup public well systems for water after the Aug. 13 rupture of a Great Lakes Water Authority pipeline that carries pre-treated Lake Huron water to the region.
Some homes in two other municipalities – the town of Lapeer and the town of Imlay – have seen elevated levels of lead in their water after the well backup systems were activated.
Some level of lead was found in 76% of water samples tested in Lapeer after the GLWA line broke, and in Imlay, testing was scheduled to resume this week after two of 35 homes tested had lead levels above 15 parts per billion – the federal limit of action for public water supply systems.
Lynn Sutphin, MDHHS spokeswoman, said 62 samples were taken from 17 homes in Almanta with lead levels ranging from undetectable to 4 parts per billion of lead.
“MDHHS does not have any recommendations for the Village of Almont regarding lead in drinking water as it relates to the GLWA water main break due to no identified health risks,” Sutphin said in an email to MLive-The Flint Journal.
In a message posted on Imlay City’s web page, the latest information on the city’s water supply says the state continues to provide water filters to all water users out of an abundance of caution.
Although some levels of lead were detected in the water in 14 of the 22 homes that were initially tested in the city of Imlay, the city says on its website that only two homes “were found to have levels of lead above the action”.
Like Lapeer and Almont, Imlay City activated a backup public well system to keep water flowing to homes and businesses after the GLWA main burst. The city mixed the well water with water from the GLWA after it was reconnected to the power’s distribution system through a secondary connection.
In Lapir, some level of lead was detected in 89 of 116 samples taken from 29 homes. When those samples were tested, the state said 38 samples exceeded the federal action limit for lead.
Lapeer is in the midst of a program to remove and replace electrical lines in 107 homes and dig up connections in more than 500 other homes where some parts of the connection may be made of lead or galvanized material.
Lapeer and Imlay City officials said a change in their water sources, fluctuations in pressure in their distribution systems, or both, likely caused the elevated lead readings, which they hope will disappear when regular service resumes later this month .
Like Imlay City, Lapeer was reconnected to the GLWA system through a secondary connection.
State officials said they don’t have enough information to determine the cause of the lead detection and are continuing to sample the cities’ water.
GLWA officials said this week that the process of getting the broken 120-inch water main back into service is taking longer than authorities anticipated. The water supply administration expects to return to normal work by October 5.
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