What’s in the water? The Benton Harbor water crisis
Benton Harbor, Michigan should be one of the last places on Earth struggling with a water crisis.
It sits on the shore of Lake Michigan and is surrounded by the Great Lakes, the largest supply of fresh, clean drinking water in the world.
But right now, Benton Harbor families, schools, churches, businesses and more are being told not to drink their city tap water. There is toxic lead leaching from old underground water service lines connecting people’s homes to water mains and eventually the city water plant.
During this 30 minute special investigation, ABC57 Anchor Brian Conybeare takes you inside the troubled plant, now pumping about 2 million gallons of water a day, although it was designed to pump over 12 million.
We also sat down with local families impacted by the lead crisis every single day, Mayor Marcus Muhammad, the Community Water Council, volunteers and the engineer in charge of the $33 million plan to replace all the old lead pipes in just 18 months.
This is all happening under the watchful eye of the Environmental Protection Agency and Michigan Department of the Environment, Great Lakes and Energy.
- Read ABC57's coverage of the Benton Harbor water crisis
- Lead service line right-of-entry form for homeowners, landlords or tenants who need their lines replaced
- Benton Harbor Safe Drinking Water Act petition to EPA filed by the Benton Harbor Community Water Council/NRDC
- EPA Unilateral Administrative Order (Joint EPA/EGLE inspection findings/orders)
- FAQ about Benton Harbor water
- Documents released under the Freedom of Information Act (11,000+ pages of documents on the water crisis)
- EPA updates on the Benton Harbor Water Crisis
- State of Michigan’s city of Benton Harbor water efforts and recommendations
- Updates from the City of Benton Harbor
- Interactive map: Track the Lead Service Line Replacement Project in Benton Harbor