FERNDALE (WWJ) – Amid Flint’s water crisis, Ferndale is warning residents of the dangers lead.

The city’s Department of Public Works director Lloyd Cureton has sent a detailed pamphlet out to all residents, explaining how to check to see if the pipes in their homes are made of lead — and what steps to take if they are.

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“There’s a very distinctive look to (a lead pipe),”Cureton explained. “And when it enters your home before your water meter, it’s shaped as a bulb, which is the connection between the copper pipe usually in the home and the line coming into your home from the street.”

Cureton said the city does use an anti-corrosive agent — which should avert a citywide problem like Flint’s — but any local construction, either in the home or near the property, can possibly disrupt lead-based pipes.

However, he told WWJ’s Sandra McNeill, he doesn’t think too many people will find a problem.

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“The latest information that the city’s obtained, in fact it’s very new, indicates that we have about 9,800 accounts. Of those 9,800 accounts we’ve surveyed about half, and only 18 percent have lead service lines,” Curton said.

Cureton said the city’s water has never tested positive for lead, but he is taking an aggressive approach in light of what happened in Flint.

He says other area cities including Oak Park have contacted him with an eye to replicating the pamphlet, which also details how to flush your pipes.

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Information for all Michiganders about the harmful effects of lead and the steps that citizens can take to protect against lead exposure is available at michigan.gov/deq. Those with questions can call the Environmental Assistance Center at 800-662-9278.