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Posted on: January 27, 2021

Copper and Lead Water Sampling

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During the last six months, the City of Inkster collected water samples at 62 homes as part of the lead and copper level compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act. Test results for eight (8) of the 62 homes reported lead levels higher than the Action Level of 15 ppb (parts per billion) as outlined by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE). 

Since 2019, the City of Inkster has been working to reduce lead levels in drinking water by educating customers, providing customers with water filters, replacing known lead service lines, and identifying the service line material for those that are unknown. Inkster will continue these efforts throughout 2021. Below is a table summarizing each round of sampling over the last two years.


20192020 (Jan-June)2020 (July-Dec)
Lead 90th percentile17 ppb11 ppb18 ppb
Copper 90th percentile0.1 ppm0.2 ppb0.1 ppm
# of sites over 15ppb4 out of 304 out of 568 out of 62


 EGLE evaluates the compliance with the Action Level based on the 90th percentile of lead and copper results collected in this round of sampling. The lead 90th percentile for the City’s water supply is 18 ppb. This exceeds the Action Level of 15 ppb. Because eight (8) sites were over the Action Level for lead, the City of Inkster would like to share some ways to reduce your exposure to lead because lead can cause serious health problems if too much enters your body from drinking water and other sources. 

The Action Level is not a health-based standard but is a level that triggers additional actions including, but not limited to, increased investigative sampling of the water quality and educational outreach to our customers. The health-based standard for lead in drinking water is 0 ppb; there is no safe level of lead in the blood. 

Lead can enter drinking water when in contact with pipes, solder, home/building interior plumbing, fittings, and fixtures that contain lead. Homes with lead service lines have an increased risk of having high lead levels in drinking water. Of the approximate 8,800 customers in the City, 5% (about 400 customers) have lead service lines. 

The more time water has been sitting in your home’s pipes, the more lead it may contain. Therefore, if your water has not been used for several hours, run the water before using it for drinking or cooking. This flushes lead-containing water from the pipes. Additional flushing may be required for homes that have been vacant or have a longer service line. 

  • Run your water to flush out lead-containing water
    • 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 building’s plumbing and the lead service line. 
  • Everyone can consider using a filter to reduce lead in drinking water. The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) recommends that any household with a child or pregnant woman use cold water and a certified lead filter to remove lead from their drinking water, especially when preparing baby formula. 
    • Look for filters that are tested and certified to NSF/ANSI Standard 53 for lead reduction. 
    • For filters to work properly, follow the manufacturer’s instructions. 
    • If your household has a child or pregnant woman and is not able to afford the cost of a lead filter, the Wayne County Health Department will provide filters at no cost. These filters will be available via a drive-through pick-up at the Booker Dozier Recreation Center at 2025 Middlebelt Road starting Saturday, February 20, 2021, and Sunday, February 21, 2021, from 11:00, am to 3:00 pm each day. During filter distribution social distancing will be practiced, face masks are required, and all recipients will be asked to remain in their vehicles during pick-up. 
  • Do not use hot water for drinking, cooking, or preparing baby formula. 
  • Do not boil your water as boiling will not reduce the amount of lead in water. 
  • Clean your faucet aerator to remove trapped debris. 
  • Check your home service line at your water meter to determine if you have a lead service line. 
Is it OK to use lead-containing water to wash my hands?
Yes! Human skin does not easily absorb lead from water.

To learn more please visit, Michigan.gov/coronavirus or Michigan.gov/MiLeadSafe

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