FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

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What can I do to reduce my risk?

Although the results are site-specific and lead levels will vary between homes, there are several recommended actions you can take to reduce your exposure to lead.

  • Run your water before consuming. The more time water has been sitting in your home’s pipes, the more lead it may contain. If your water has not been used for several hours, run the water before using it for drinking or cooking. This flushes stagnant water from the pipes. Additional flushing may be required for homes that have been vacant or have a longer service line.
  • If you do not have a lead service line, run the water for 30 seconds to two minutes, or until it becomes cold or reaches a steady temperature.
  • If you do have a lead service line, run the water for at least five minutes to flush water from your home or building’s plumbing and the lead service line.
  • Consider using a filter. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services recommends that any household with a child or pregnant woman use cold water and a certified lead filter to remove lead from their drinking water, especially when preparing baby formula. Look for filters that are tested and certified to NSF/ANSI Standard 53 for lead reduction. Be sure to maintain and replace the filter device in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions to protect water quality. If your household has a child or pregnant woman or if you are not able to afford the cost of a lead filter, the Oakland County Health Department will provide residents one free of charge.
  • Do not use hot water for drinking, preparing food, or cooking, or preparing baby formula.
  • Do not boil your water as boiling will not reduce the amount of lead in water.
  • Clean your faucet aerator to remove trapped debris.
  • Check whether your home has a lead service line. If you are unsure whether your home is serviced by a lead service line, the following link provides a useful tool to assist you in determining your home’s service line material. You can also contact the City’s Department of Public Works at 248-546-2519 for this information.
  • Have your water tested for lead. The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) published a list of state laboratories that are certified for lead testing. The Oakland County Health Division also offers testing kits. For more information, contact the Oakland County Health Division at (248) 858-1280. Health related questions can be directed to the Oakland County Nurse on Call at (800) 848-5533 or NOC@oakgov.com.
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