Volunteers donate bottled water to BH schools
BENTON HARBOR — Donations of bottled water are pouring in to Benton Harbor schools as people help keep students hydrated until the district’s water test results come back.
Benton Harbor schools Superintendent/CEO Bob Herrera said every water fixture at each school will be tested next week to see if the water has lead in it.
He ordered that the water be tested after the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality issued an advisory earlier this week about higher-than-acceptable levels of lead in some of Benton Harbor’s drinking water.
The advisory was issued after eight of 30 homes tested this summer were above the action level of 15 parts per billion (ppb), and the 90th percentile of the samples was 22 ppb for lead.
District officials estimate that they will need 5,000 bottles of water each day the tap water isn’t used.
“We did not ask for donations, but we want to thank everybody and we appreciate the support and generosity,” he said.
Anyone who would like to donate can drop the bottled water off during school hours at the Administration Building, 1995 Union Ave., Benton Township.
“It’s a community dealership and long-time friend to Benton Harbor Area Schools,” said Benton Harbor Mayor Marcus Muhammad, who works at Signature Toyota.
Bill Crowder, general manager at Signature Toyota, said they donated more than 100 cases of bottled water Friday.
The kits instruct residents to catch “first draw” water in the provided collection bottle after the water has sat in the pipes for at least six hours.