Kalamazoo, Michigan

Kalamazoo, Michigan Kalamazoo, Michigan

What is the Water Quality in Kalamazoo, Michigan?

Compared to other US cities, Kalamazoo water quality ranks in the high range for contamination excluding Lead.

Most of their 30 contaminants have cancer-causing attributes.

  • Arsenic is at extremely high levels: 1,063x health guidelines.
  • Haloacetic acids (HAA5) are at extremely high levels: 1286x health guidelines.
  • Haloacetic acids (HAA9) are at extremely high levels: 371x health guidelines.
    • These are both byproducts of the chlorine treatment process most water supplies go through.
  • Total PFOS and PFOA is at extremely high levels: 348x health guidelines.
    • These are considered “forever chemicals” by the EPA and are being studied extensively.

Let’s look closer at what’s in Kalamazoo water.

What’s in Kalamazoo water?

Here are the top 5 chemical compounds in Kalamazoo water and what health issues they can potentially cause:

  1. Arsenic – Potential effect: Cancer
  2. Haloacetic acids – Potential effect: Cancer
  3. Radium – Potential effect: Cancer
  4. Total trihalomethanes – Potential effect: Cancer
  5. Vinyl chlorideOver Legal Limit

These are five of the 16 contaminants analyzed by the Environmental Working Group (ewg.org).

6 of these contaminants are rated as exceeding EWG Health Guidelines.

Does Kalamazoo water have Lead contamination?

Yes, Kalamazoo has lead in its water. The most recent Lead samples collected from 2015 through 2017 showed concentrations up to 4.0 parts per billion (ppb).

The legal limit for lead is 15 parts per billion. Being well-below this level is a good thing.

  • Concentrations between 3.8 ppb and 15 ppb put a formula-fed baby at risk of elevated blood lead levels. Read more about the symptoms of Lead in water.

There is no safe level of lead for humans.

  • The good news is that 99.99% of the lead can be removed.

See the What Can You Do? section below to learn how to filter out contaminants.

Where does Kalamazoo’s water come from?

Kalamazoo’s water comes from the Portage Creek watershed.

All 5 EPA assessed water sources in the Portage Creek watershed are in Impaired condition.

Ideally, a water source would be rated in Good condition.

Whether a water source is in Impaired or Good condition refers to the quality of these uses:

  1. Drinking Water
  2. Aquatic Life
  3. Fish and Shellfish Consumption
  4. Recreation

Learn more from How’s My Waterway

See below for what you can do to improve Kalamazoo’s water.

What Can You Do?

Information about water quality in Kalamazoo can be surprising.

But there are things you can do in your home to clean up your water.

To Remove Lead and Other Contaminants In Your Home:

There is one solution that beats Brita, PUR, and expensive whole house systems.

  • It costs less per gallon.
  • Needs fewer filter changes.
  • And it doesn’t make your water taste weird.

*Chlorination is an effective method of disinfecting/treating drinking water. You can then use a water filter to reduce the effects of chlorination byproducts to get the safest, cleanest water possible.

In Your Community:

Contact your local government officials and put pressure on them to invest in cleaner waterways and upgraded city water filtration and treatment.

Go to: https://www.kalamazoocity.org/government to find contact information for your local officials.

Water Quality in Other Michigan Cities

Michigan Water Quality Page

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