WQA offers resources for Benton Harbor, MI, water crisis



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Both technical and consumer-friendly information on lead available

LISLE, Ill. (Nov. 23, 2021) – In light of the ongoing drinking water crisis in Benton Harbor, MI, the Water Quality Association offers resources that can help consumers understand the issues associated with lead contamination and methods of home water treatment. WQA also offers the expertise and guidance of its technical staff and member water treatment providers.

WQA offers easy-to-understand information on lead – including a video, “Five Things to Know About Lead” – on its consumer website, Better Water Today. Consumers also can access Frequently Asked Questions about lead or download a technical fact sheet through the association’s website, wqa.org.

Drinking water that meets federal guidelines for safety when it leaves a municipal treatment facility travels through miles of service lines, connecting pipes and fixtures on its way to homes, and lead can leach from lead service lines and connections, from lead solder used in copper piping, and from brass fixtures and fittings. Michigan officials have pledged to speed up replacement of lead service lines in Benton Harbor and are ensuring the availability of free bottled water to city residents in the meantime.

Lead poisoning often shows no symptoms; however, signs such as irritability, weight loss, vomiting, constipation, or stomach pain could occur. Young children and pregnant women are at the greatest risk, even from short‐ term exposure. Scientists agree there is no safe level of lead in drinking water.

Home water treatment products are considered the preferred method for lead reduction. However, products, devices and systems currently on the market may differ widely in their effectiveness in treating specific contaminants, and performance may vary from application to application. Selection of a particular device or system for health contaminant reduction such as lead should be made only after verifying that the product has been independently tested and certified for the specific contaminant to be reduced, and that the product has been assessed for the specific application proposed and the amount of contaminant reduction required.

On WQA’s website, consumers can search for products certified for reducing lead in drinking water or find a local water treatment expert to help them with their home’s drinking water quality.

WQA is a not-for-profit trade association representing the residential, commercial, and industrial water treatment industry. WQA’s education and professional certification programs have been providing industry-standardized training and credentialing since 1977.  The WQA Gold Seal certification program has been certifying products that contribute to the safe consumption of water since 1959. The WQA Gold Seal program is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the Standards Council of Canada (SCC). WQA publishes a consumer-friendly website, BetterWaterToday.org.