BH Area Schools CEO Orders Bottle Water Until Lead Testing is Performed

Benton Harbor Area Schools CEO & Superintendent Dr. Robert Herrera isn’t taking any chances with the kids and employees in his school system. He has responded immediately to Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) reports about lead levels in drinking water across the district and ordered bottled water in all facilities to protect them.

Herrera has dispatched a letter today to all Benton Harbor Area Schools Parents & Guardians of the students who attend there regarding his commitment to access to safe drinking water.

Herrera says “We are committed to ensuring our students and staff have access to safe drinking water. Based upon Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) reports, the City of Benton Harbor water supply has higher than acceptable lead levels in recent samples. Therefore, the District is currently contracting with a certified testing laboratory to sample water locations throughout the District. Until we have confirmed test results from every building, we will be providing the following safeguards for our students and staff:

  • Bottled water will be provided at every building for drinking…
  • Food Service will be using bottled water in all buildings for preparation…

Any questions regarding testing can be directed to Troy Boone, Chief Operations Officer, at 269-605-1000. To ensure you have the most current information, principals will continue to keep you apprised of details specific to their buildings.

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We will continue to advise you of any updates via building principals, as they will have the specific details for each building.

For general information about water quality and sampling for lead at home, you may contact your local water supplier or visit the Michigan DEQ website at”

According to the DEQ, eight homes in Benton Harbor have lead contamination in the water. The city found those eight to be above the federal and state action levels of 15 parts per billion for lead in the 30 homes where water samples were taken.