Lead and Copper

Lead is harmful to human health. The degree of harm depends on the level of exposure from all sources. Some potential sources of lead for humans are lead-based paints, contaminated air, soil, dust or water. The fetus of pregnant women, infants, and children of nursing mothers are at highest risk from exposure to lead. Prevention is the best way to protect yourself and your family. Here are some steps that should be taken to reduce your exposure to lead form your service line or the piping in your home.

  • Hot water dissolves lead more quickly than cold water. Only use the cold-water faucet for drinking, cooking, making coffee or making baby formula.
  • Before using water for drinking or cooking, let the water run until it is as cold as it will get. This usually takes between 30 seconds to two minutes. The intention is to flush any lead-contaminated water from your piping, so that you are receiving water from the water main. This is especially important in the morning when returning from work or school, or any time when the water has been sitting stagnant in the lines for several hours.
  • Clean your aerators or faucet screens at least once per month to remove unwanted particles.
  • Please visit Michigan.gov/MILeadSafe for information on exposure to lead in drinking water.
  • Please visit Environmental Protection Agency’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791.

How Can I Get My Water Tested?

Residents who would like to get their home water tested for lead can obtain kits from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy Laboratory via the Bay County Health Department. Residents are advised that at a minimum, the price to have their water tested by the DEQ is $26, plus the cost of shipping and handling. Some homes may require two (2) tests. Persons interested in getting their water tested are advised to call the Bay County Environmental Health Division at 989-895-4006, ext.3. For more information on testing your water please visit: www.michigan.gov/EGLElab

How Many Lead or Galvanized Lines are in Bay City?

A preliminary DSMI report has been submitted to EGLE. The goal is to identify potential high-risk lead and galvanized water service line locations. This notice is part of the customer notification and education requirements.


Total water services in Bay City 14,234

•    Copper: 5,325 water services are copper and do not contain lead or galvanized pipes.

•    Lead: 5,085 water services have at least one section of lead pipe.

•    Galvanized: 597 water services have galvanized pipes which were previously connected to lead pipes

•    Unknown: 3,227 water services have at least one section of unknown pipe material. (All unknown water services are on the customer side of the water service)

What Actions Has Bay City Taken to Address Replacing Lead and Galvanized Service Lines?

•    Developed a Lead Abatement Program in 1999

•    Replaced approximately 2,849 lead water services since 2000

•    Coordinated replacing water services with street reconstruction projects

•    Coordinated replacing services when homeowners replace their water service

•    Banned partial lead service repairs and replacements

•    Obtained a 5-million-dollar low-interest DWRF loan through EGLE to replace lead services and mains, which includes a 1-million-dollar loan forgiveness provision or grant

•    Established a monthly Lead Abatement Fee to fund our Lead Abatement Program

•    Replaced customer side lead and galvanized service lines without cost to the customer

Preliminary Distribution System Material Inventory, Final Report is due in 2025