Parchment Water Emergency Ends, Drinking Water Advisory Lifted
Residents in the City of Parchment and parts of Cooper Township will finally be able to use their tap water again as the 'Drinking Water Advisory' has been lifted. The Kalamazoo County Health & Community Services department, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) and Michigan Department of Health & Human Services (MDHHS) are all unanimous in reporting that Parchment’s water supply system, now hooked up to the Kalamazoo system, meets the EPA Lifetime Health Advisory Level. Residents will no longer need to pick up bottled water for drinking, cooking, making baby formula or food, rinsing or watering produce or for giving drinking water to pets and livestock. This includes all Parchment residents and those in Cooper Township who were connected to the Parchment municipal water system.
Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, along with other state and local officials, appeared at a press conference in Kalamazoo Monday afternoon to make the official announcement. It was reported there that weekly testing for PFAS in the water supply system will continue. Regarding residents with private residential wells in the Cooper Township area, it was reported that all wells located east of the Kalamazoo River that the MDEQ tested will be provided a point of use filter as part of the MDEQ investigation. Kalamazoo County HCS in partnership with the Kalamazoo County Plumbers, Pipefitters & HVAC Local 357 will install all PFAS certified filters at no cost to residents.HCS Staff contacted all residents to set up appointments for Local 357 to install the units today and installation appointments will continue until this Friday, August 31st. The Plumbers Union is working closely with HCS staff to ensure all residents have their water filters installed properly.
On July 26th, the Kalamazoo Department of Health and Community Services issued a notice advising customers of the Parchment water supply, serving residents of the City of Parchment and Cooper Township to stop drinking their water due to the high levels of PFAS found in the municipal wells. Last Thursday, the Kalamazoo County Health and Community Services department said the most recent testing of homes and businesses in Parchment and Cooper Township hooked up to the municipal water system found levels of PFAS between 6 and 8 parts per trillion; that’s 176 times lower than contamination levels found in July before Parchment was hooked up to the Kalamazoo water system
Although no official cause for the water contamination has still been cited, it is widely speculated that the contamination came from the abandoned paper mill site in the city of Parchment which was notorious for disposal practices that were not environmentally friendly when it was in operations decades ago.