Water Quality Data
Water Quality Data Table Abbreviations and Terms
According to federal and state laws the City of Kalamazoo monitors for contaminants in your drinking water. The table is based on analyses conducted in 2017 and those tests conducted less frequently than once per year. The Water Quality Data Table lists only the contaminants that were detected. If the test was not performed in 2017, then the most recent analysis is listed. The City of Kalamazoo’s state certified laboratory analyzes for the absence of microorganisms and levels of limited treatment chemicals (Hexametaphosphate, Fluoride, and Residual Chlorine) in the City’s
water supply at several locations three to five days per week. All limited treatment chemicals are on automated feed control systems that are monitored 24/7 by City of Kalamazoo staff.
MRDLG (Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level Goal) — The level of a drinking water disinfection below which there is no known or expected risk to health. MRDLG’s do not reflect the benefits of the use of disinfectants to control microbial contaminants.
ND – Non-detected
pCi/L (Picocuries per Liter) – A measure of radioactivity.
PPB – Part per billion; the equivalent of one microgram per Liter.
PPM – Part per million; the equivalent of one milligram per Liter.
Trihalomethanes – Compounds formed during the chlorination (disinfection) of drinking water.
NA – Not Applicable
AL (Action Level) – The concentration of a contaminant, which, if exceeded, triggers treatment or other requirements that a water system must follow. Contaminant – A biological, chemical, physical, or radiological substance or matter in water.
Contaminant – A biological, chemical, physical, or radiological substance
or matter in water.
MCLG (Maximum Contaminant Level Goal) – The level of a contaminant in drinking water below which there is no known or expected risk to health. MCLG’s allow for a margin of safety.
MCL (Maximum Contaminant Level) – The highest level of a contaminant that is allowed in drinking water. MCL’s are set as close to MCLG’s as feasible using the best available treatment technology.
MRDL (Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level) – The highest level of a disinfectant allowed in drinking water. There is convincing evidence that addition of a disinfectant is necessary for control of microbial contaminants.
Monitoring for Unregulated Contaminants
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) federal regulations affecting monitoring of unregulated contaminants at public water systems are known as the Unregulated Contaminants Monitoring Rule (UCMR). The purpose of monitoring for unregulated contaminants in drinking water is to provide data to support the EPA administrator’s decisions concerning whether or not to regulate these contaminants in the future for the protection of public health. The City conducted unregulated contaminant sampling in 2003 and UCMR2 sampling in 2009. The first portion of UCMR3 sampling was performed in December of 2013 and the second set of sampling was completed in June of 2014. Please contact the Public Services Programs Manager at (269) 337-8667, if you wish to have a copy of the results.
Additional Health Information
Sources of drinking water for both tap water and bottled water can include rivers, lakes, streams, pond reservoirs, springs and wells. As water travels over the surface of the land or through the ground, it dissolves naturally – occurring minerals and, in some cases, radioactive material, and can pick-up substances resulting from the presence of animals or from human activity.
Contaminants that may be present in source water include:
Microbial contaminants, such as viruses and bacteria, which may come from sewage treatment plants, septic systems, agricultural livestock operations, and wildlife
Inorganic contaminants, such as salts, and metals, which can be naturally-occurring or result from urban stormwater runoff, industrial or domestic wastewater discharges, oil and gas production, mining or farming
Pesticides and herbicides, which may come from a variety of sources such as agriculture, urban stormwater runoff, and residential uses
Organic chemical contaminants, including synthetic and volatile organic chemicals, which are by-products of industrial processes and petroleum production, and can also come from gas stations, urban stormwater runoff, and septic systems
Radioactive contaminants, which can be naturally occurring or be the result of oil and gas production and mining activities.
In order to ensure that tap water is safe to drink, EPA prescribes regulations which limit the amount of certain contaminants in water provided by public water systems. The Food and Drug Administration regulations establish limits for contaminants in bottled water, which must provide the same protection for public health.
All drinking water, including bottled water, may reasonably be expected to contain at least small amounts of some contaminants. The presence of contaminants does not necessarily indicate that water poses health risks. More information about contaminants and potential health effects can be obtained by calling the EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791.
Some people may be more vulnerable to contaminants in drinking water than the general population. Immunocompromised persons such as persons with cancer undergoing chemotherapy, persons who have undergone organ transplants, people with HIV/AIDS or other immune system disorders, some elderly, and infants can be particularly at risk from infections. These people should seek advice about drinking water from their health care providers. EPA/CDC guidelines on appropriate means to lessen the risk of infection are available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline toll free at 1 (800) 426-4791.
Recent PFAS testing of water pumping stations serving the Kalamazoo municipal drinking water system have found results well within the safe drinking water guidelines of 70 parts per trillion (ppt) set by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Fifteen water pumping stations in the City of Kalamazoo Public Water Supply System were sampled on June 15, 2018. None of the tests revealed levels of PFOA/PFOS above the 70 ppt health advisory level. Of the 15 samples, 12 results were “non-detections,” and 3 stations had detectable levels below 70 ppt.
More information is available here.