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Drinking water advisory lifted for Parchment municipal system

Latest test results show the municipal water system meets requirements of the Safe Drinking Water Act and is safe for consumption

LANSING, Mich. – The “Do Not Drink” order for the City of Parchment’s municipal water system has been lifted after the Michigan Departments of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and Health and Human Services (DHHS), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) concluded the latest test results of the municipal water system meet the requirements of the Safe Drinking Water Act and are acceptable to lift the drinking water advisory.

After extensive testing for PFAS and several other parameters, including lead and copper, state and federal health and safety experts have deemed the latest results meet state and federal standards and the water is now safe for normal consumption.  

Normal consumption of drinking water for the customers of the Parchment municipal water system in both the City of Parchment and Cooper Township who have flushed their homes according to instruction may resume for all household purposes. 

The drinking water advisory remains in effect for Parchment residents who use wells for their drinking water and have been identified by the DEQ within the investigation area, pending further testing. These residents are being provided with authorized filters. 

“More than 3,000 Michigan residents served by the Parchment water system were protected thanks to the state’s swift and coordinated response after discovering high levels of PFAS in the Parchment water system,” said Gov. Rick Snyder. “I commend all state and local agencies involved in the Parchment response for their critical role in protecting public health. By establishing clean-up standards for PFAS compounds in drinking water and testing all municipal water systems, regardless of size, Michigan has taken a proactive approach to addressing this nationally emerging contaminant and will continue to be a national leader on this issue.” 

Customers of the Parchment municipal water system now have the full force of the Kalamazoo Public Services Department, which serves 125,000 customers, looking after their water supply.

The Parchment system is stabilized and capable of delivering water to customers that is compliant with Lifetime Health Advisory levels for PFOA and PFOS, with sampling results well below 70 parts per trillion (ppt).

For the next year, Parchment municipal water will be tested for PFAS weekly for the first month and monthly thereafter to ensure water quality meets the Safe Water Drinking Act standards.

PFAS Filters for Residential Water Wells

All private residential water wells located east of the Kalamazoo River that the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) tested will be provided a point of use filter as part of the MDEQ investigation. Kalamazoo County Health & Community Services Department (HCS) in partnership with the Kalamazoo County Plumbers, Pipefitters & HVAC Local 357 will install all PFAS certified filters at no cost to residents.

Last week, HCS Staff contacted all residents to set up appointments for Local 357 to install the units starting Monday, August 27. Installation appointments will continue through the week, ending on Friday, August 31. The Plumbers Union is working closely with HCS staff to ensure all residents have their water filters installed properly.

The Local 357 personnel are authorized to install filters. They can be identified by a specific badge (pictured right) provided by the Kalamazoo County Health & Community Services Department. Anyone representing themselves from The Plumbers Union should have the badge visible at all times, and residents should ask to see it. The plumber will have the filter with them, and there will be no cost or payment required from the resident.

After the filter is installed, the homeowner that is serviced by their own water well can resume drinking the water.

Residential Water Wells

To date, the DEQ has sampled 182 residential wells and 3 irrigation wells. Results have been received for 128 residential wells and 1 irrigation well. The Kalamazoo County Health and Community Services Department has contacted those individuals about their results.

Water Distribution

The Water Distribution Center will be open on Tuesday and Thursday of this week from 2:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Haven Reformed Church. The center will close Thursday, Aug. 30. Residents will be provided additional cases of water to see them through the installation of the filter for their private residential water well. Residents are asked to verify their address when they pick-up their water supply. On-site recycling is available for residents to return used water bottles.

Parchment Water Hotline: 269-373-5346

The Parchment Water Hotline will continue to be available for residents to call Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. until Friday, September 7. If you have further questions after September 7, please call the Kalamazoo County Health & Community Services Department’s Environmental Health Unit at 269-373-5200.