State to start paying Benton Harbor water bottle distribution volunteers

Michigan

Residents of Benton Harbor, who cannot drink their tap water due to lead contamination, pick up bottled water at Abundant Life Church of God on Oct. 18, 2021.

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. (WOOD) — As Benton Harbor residents are being urged to avoid using tap water for things like drinking and cooking, the state health department is continuing its efforts to provide free bottled water.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced Friday it would start paying bottled water distribution site volunteers $15 an hour. It will retroactively pay volunteers to Oct. 1, it said. Only those who are residents of Benton Harbor are eligible.

The MDHHS, along with volunteers, has provided over 100,000 cases of bottled water, it said.

City leaders declared a local state of emergency on Oct. 19 in response to the high levels of lead contamination in the water. Data from the city shows the highest lead reading from sampled homes found 889 parts per billion, more than 59 times the state limit.

It will be providing water at the following locations in the upcoming days:

Saturday, Oct. 30

  • Boys & Girls Club of Benton Harbor, 600 Nate Wells Sr. Drive | 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Harbor of Hope Seventh-Day Adventist Church, 769 Pipestone Street | 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Sunday, Oct. 31

  • Abundant Life Church of God, 693 Columbus Avenue | 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Brotherhood of All Nations, 1286 Monroe Street | 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Monday, Nov. 1

  • Southwest Community Action Agency, 331 Miller Street | 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Abundant Life Church of God, 693 Columbus Avenue | 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.

Tuesday, Nov. 2

  • Southwest Community Action Agency, 331 Miller Street | 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Abundant Life Church of God, 693 Columbus Avenue | 12 p.m. to  2 p.m.
  • Ebenezer Baptist Church, 214 E. Britain Avenue | 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. 

Wednesday, Nov. 3

  • Southwest Community Action Agency, 331 Miller Street | 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Those who are homebound or do not have transportation can call 211 to set up water delivery.

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