95.3 / 88.5 FM Grand Rapids and 95.3 FM Muskegon
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Grand Rapids Conducts Tests For Lead In Water

Grand Rapids city logo

The City of Grand Rapids wants residents to know that current testing of lead levels in water is part of a routine process.  The summer testing is part of state and federal requirements.  Officials says they want to reassure residents there’s no cause for alarm, especially in light of recent events in Flint. 

“We want to reassure our customers that it’s not a concern, we just want to provide information because people are asking about it.”

Joellen Thompson is the Grand Rapids Water System Manager.  She says they’re now halfway done with water testing for lead in city homes.

“We test a minimum of 50 homes, select them from high risk categories, so they’re representative of the worst case situation, where people have a lead service line.  It’s on a volunteer basis. We get volunteers, and train them how to take the sample.”

Thompson says residents have been inquiring about how the testing is going, especially in light of the high levels found in the city of Flint.  So far, she says 2016 levels in Grand Rapids are coming in close to the last round of tests done in 2013, which were at an all-time low.

“The results we’ve gotten back so far are tracking very closely to previous results, which in our case are very low; our last was 2.2 parts per billion, which is well below the 15 parts per billion action level.”

Customers generally receive results soon after the City gets them.  If the results are over 10 parts per billion the city would notify the owner within two business days.  Thompson says current testing should not deter resident’s confidence in the water system.

“Grand Rapids water comes from Lake Michigan, it’s a very high quality water source to start with  and we treat it and deliver to  our customers very high quality water and so they should have confidence in our system.”

Thompson says if residents have any questions regarding the city’s water or water testing, they can call the city at 3-1-1. 

Jennifer is an award winning broadcast news journalist with more than two decades of professional television news experience including the nation's fifth largest news market. She's worked as both news reporter and news anchor for television and radio in markets from Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo all the way to San Francisco, California.