KALAMAZOO, Mich. — The Kalamazoo County Health & Community Services Department has updated the daily public water-distribution schedule at Parchment High School, after unsafe levels of contaminants recently were detected in the municipal water supply. A local State of Emergency was declared by the county commission and a request for aid from the State of Michigan was submitted.
The county says bottled water will be distributed on Sunday, July 29, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the high school (1916 E. G Avenue) – the same schedule as it was for Saturday. But starting on Monday, July 30, the Health & Community Services Department says the water distribution will be from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.
An Open House is set for 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, July 31, at Haven Reformed Church, 5350 N. Sprinkle Road in Kalamazoo. That will be followed by an Open House from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the same location. The county is encouraging residents of the city of the Parchment and Cooper Township to attend the meeting, if their homes are supplied by the Parchment water system. The county says residents will receive an update on Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). That’s a man-made chemical believed to cause numerous health problems, including thyroid and reproductive issues, as well as various types of cancer. It has been detected in recent months in some water supplies in Kent, Montcalm and Van Buren counties.
Eric Oswald, Director of the Drinking Water Municipalities Division for the state Department of Environmental Quality, says the PFAS amounts for Parchment water were around 1,300 parts per trillion. The state threshold for drinking water is 70 parts per trillion.
The water was declared unsafe to drink, but okay for bathing, washing dishes and doing laundry.
The Kalamazoo County Health & Community Services Department says the local state of emergency was declared to start the process for receiving aid from the State of Michigan, which “will now review the request for aid, and conduct further logistical discussions with the local authorities. By signing the local declaration of emergency, the local authorities together are requesting additional resources and support for the residents affected by the elevated levels of PFAS found in the City of Parchment’s water supply system.”