Benton Harbor businesses can get water tested for free

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. — Cornerstone Alliance announced they’ll pay for any Benton Harbor business that would like their drinking water tested.

“The programs that have been available so far focus on the residents, as they should, so the commercial businesses have had a lot of questions,” said Rob Cleveland, President & CEO of Cornerstone Alliance. 

The non-profit has already got over a dozen that are interested.  

“Our intent is to get as many businesses as we can to utilize this free testing program, ultimately what they will do is eliminate the pressure off the city and their sole focus can be on residents,” said Cleveland. 

Taking one burden off city officials as they tackle the lead contamination crisis is one goal, the other, help keep Benton Harbor’s economy going amid any concerns customers may have over the water.  

“This has been portrayed as a widespread issue, it’s not, but it is important there is now a program in place and build confidence with the customers,” said Cleveland.  

The company doing the testing is based in Benton Harbor, too, and they’re ready to get started now.  

“Any faucet they’re going to use for drinking water, cooking, making coffee will be sampled,” said Rick Villa, President of Villa Environmental Consultants. “We come in, do a series of tests, put it in a jar and preserve them to send to a laboratory for analysis.”  

Both Cornerstone and Villa Environmental want the tests to only strengthen confidence for the local businesses. 

“They’re already doing what they’re supposed to – filtering water, bringing in bottled water,” said Villa. “So people should be very confident they’re doing the right thing.”

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