Madison Heights meets new state standards for water quality

By: Andy Kozlowski | Madison - Park News | Published December 5, 2019

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MADISON HEIGHTS — In the wake of the Flint water crisis, the state of Michigan now has among the most stringent water quality standards in the country. And according to a recent sampling of sites with lead-based service lines, the city of Madison Heights still meets the mark with lead levels below the action level.

“We are proud that the city of Madison Heights has been very proactive in replacing lead service lines for homeowners prior to the mandate from the state of Michigan,” said Melissa Marsh, the city manager. “This has resulted in favorable results in the required testing.”

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) now mandates more stringent standards with the Lead and Copper Rule. Chris Woodward, the utilities supervisor for the city of Madison Heights, explained that community water supplies are now required to review sample sites of homes with lead or partial lead water service connections more thoroughly and in larger numbers, with the number of sample sites increasing from six locations to 30, and the testing frequency increasing from once every three years to every year. Two samples are now collected at each site, with the first liter and fifth liter samples being sent to the state for testing. EGLE also now requires that communities reduce the number of lead service lines at a rate of 5% per year.

The testing process in Madison Heights began this past spring, when the city’s Department of Public Services identified homes throughout the city that met the site selection criteria and coordinated sample appointments with homeowners. Staff members collected samples from the kitchen faucets for each home during the sampling period, which ran from June through September.

The results of the analyzed samples provided the levels of lead and copper, which showed that the city of Madison Heights did not exceed EGLE’s 90th Percentile Rule, meaning the results of at least 90% of the samples were below the action level of 15 parts per billion. The first liter sampled represents the water within the internal plumbing of the house, while the fifth liter represents the water within the water service connection. The second, third and fourth liters are measured and then discarded.

“I am proud that we have been proactive with our efforts to meet the state requirements by removing lead service lines in the city, and we plan to continue with our lead service replacement program moving forward,” Woodward said. “Residents who think they have a lead or partial lead water service can contact the Department of Public Services.”

The number for the Madison Heights Department of Public Services is (248) 589-2294.

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