In SummaryBenton Harbor, Michigan, is facing tap water problems after an inspection.
Residents in Michigan have been urged to not drink tap water after high levels of lead were located after an inspection. The Environmental Protection Agency said the situation was urgent enough to order Benton Harbor to consider turning the water system over to someone else, according to AP News.
“The people of Benton Harbor have suffered for too long,” EPA Administrator Michael Regan said in a written statement. “EPA is fully engaged and working to support the community, and today, we are taking a critical next step to ensure that drinking water is safe and reliable.”
Residents were informed by state and local officials to use bottled water to cook and drink back in October. According to experts, aging water systems, fewer users and other problems have resulted in lead leaching from pipes and causing contamination. The government reported the city failed to warn residents and the Berrien County health department about the contamination for more than a year.
Residents are not only being affected by the water but are also responsible for covering prescription costs if they are sick. “The doctor can diagnose you, but when he gets you the prescription, you’ve got to pay for it,” Mayor Marcus Muhammad said. “And if you don’t have the money then you remain sick.”