City of Kalamazoo addressing water treatment violation

Posted at 12:42 PM, May 09, 2019

KALAMAZOO, Mich. — The City of Kalamazoo is addressing a water treatment technique violation that was issued by the State of Michigan.

City Engineer James Baker says the city places phosphates in the water supply to prevent corrosion of pipes, which can lead to contamination in the drinking water.

At the beginning of 2018, phosphate levels tested below the acceptable level to prevent corrosion, so the city made adjustments. At other times during the year, tests showed that phosphate levels were too high.

Michigan allows public water supplies to be out of range for nine "excursion" days within any six-month period. In 2018, Kalamazoo had 26 excursion days in the first six months and another 13 in the final six.

The city continues to make adjustments and recent testing shows that the levels of phosphates are in the acceptable range. Kalamazoo is also working on a $1.5 million project to rectify the issue, including upgrading and replacing stations.

If the phosphate levels remain in the acceptable range in June, the violation from the state will be removed. If it falls out of the acceptable range, the city will have another six months to address the problem.

Officials say that there are no immediate health or safety concerns. Residents do not need to take any actions or precautionary measures, like using bottled water or boiling drinking water.