No-Contact Advisory For Grand River Lifted

Posted at 1:14 PM, May 07, 2013
People watch near Fish Ladder in Grand Rapids by Shaun DeWolf

People watch near Fish Ladder in Grand Rapids by Shaun DeWolf

KENT COUNTY, Michigan. — Kent County Emergency Management Division has lifted the no-contact advisory for the Grand River in Kent County, effective May 7, 2013. “There are still concerns about the fast-moving current and the potential for debris,” said Adam London, Health Officer for the Kent County Health Department. “There is always the potential for harmful organisms in surface water. Our staff recommends using caution if you have contact with the Grand River, staying away from the water if it’s dark or murky, and avoid ingesting water from the river.”

Most Kent County residents who were evacuated have been allowed to return to their homes, under the direction of local building inspectors, and after Consumers Energy determined it was safe to restore power to the homes. If you live in a home impacted by flooding, here are some tips for effective, safe clean-up after the flood

Damage assessment teams have completed hundreds of visits over the past two weeks. If you had damage and did not meet with a damage assessment team, you can report your damage at PLEASE NOTE: This form is being used for the collection of preliminary damage assessment purposes only. It is voluntary and is for informational purposes to aid with the damage assessment effort. The information you provide will be combined with other data and will be sent to the State of Michigan. This form does not constitute a claim for your private insurance purposes and does not constitute an application for assistance with any governmental agency, including FEMA. It is merely a part of the process for the county to make sure it turns in an accurate damage assessment to the state. 

We also want to reiterate concerns about well water. Contaminants such as bacteria and chemicals may enter the water supply if your well is flooded, damaged, or if there is a loss of pressure in your water supply piping. Ingesting contaminated water can cause stomach illness, which can be especially severe in the elderly, in children and those with weakened immune systems. If your well has been flooded or damaged, then there are steps that you should follow to ensure that your drinking water is safe:

Do not use well water for drinking, food preparation, ice making, food contact, bathing or brushing your teeth.

Use bottled water for potable use.

After the flood water recedes, flush the well thoroughly and have the well and affected plumbing disinfected prior to use. Due to the electrical, well construction and safety issues involved in this process, contracting a registered well driller or master plumber to do this work is recommended for safe and effective treatment and repairs.

Test your water for contaminants after all chlorine has been flushed from the water supply. Collect the water samples before using the well water for potable use such as cooking, drinking, food preparation, bathing or brushing your teeth. At a minimum you should collect bacteriologic samples. Draw water from a drinking water outlet to get two consecutive bacteriologic samples that are collected a minimum of 24 hours apart, which do not detect the presence of contamination before allowing potable use of the tap water.

Repeat testing one to two weeks later is also recommended to ensure that the source of the contamination has been eliminated. The Kent County Health Department recommends that all well owners test their water annually to ensure that the water quality is safe for consumption. Bottles for testing are available at the Kent County Health Department, 700 Fuller NE in Grand Rapids, KCHD satellite clinics, and township offices throughout Kent County.

Many residents may have hazardous waste, such as gasoline, insect repellant, antifreeze, motor oil, or other materials they need to throw out. These items should not be placed in household trash. There are several drop-off sites around Kent County:

Transfer station at North Kent Landfill

2908 10 Mile Rd NE Rockford, MI 49341

The Kent County Road Commission

1500 Scribner NW Grand Rapids, MI 49504

The Wyoming Waste Water Treatment Plant

2350 Ivanrest Ave SW Grandville, MI 49418

Kentwood Public Works

5068 Breton Rd SE Kentwood, MI 49508

More information can be found at: