Residents in a southern Kalamazoo County community are being asked to use bottled water temporarily as an overabundance of a natural mineral could cause issues for children that are a year and younger.

On Monday, April 26th, the Village of Vicksburg announced a Do-Not-Drink Advisory for infants that are 12 months or younger due to potential elevated levels of manganese in the municipal water system. The Village is working with the Kalamazoo County Health and Community Services Department and the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) to remediate the issue.

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Though small amounts of the natural mineral is needed in our lives, according to Medical News Today, manganese can actually cause harm if overexposed and especially for infants that are a year and younger. According to the Village release, the Environmental Protection Agency shows that infants 12 months old or younger should only take in 300 parts-per-billion of manganese while others should take in 1,000 parts-per-billion over a one-to-ten day span. Currently, there are no federal requirements for manganese testing in municipal water systems, but a recent independent test showed one of their wells to have between 10-to-320 parts-per-billion level of the mineral, forming the precautionary advisory.

Unfortunately, the advisory will last throughout the rest of the spring and much of the summer. The Village announced that the precautionary notice is for residents that use the water system and will continue to test the system during the time period. Continued testing and results are expected to be complete by September 1st.

Until then, if you are a resident with family members that are 12 months old or younger that will be in need of bottled water, contact the Village of Vicksburg offices at (269) 649-1919 during normal business hours. The Village is also advising residents that manganese can not be taking out of water by boiling it. The precautionary advisory is not a Boil Water Advisory.

Vicksburg becomes the third Southwest Michigan community to report elevated levels of manganese in the last four years. Battle Creek reported elevated tests in 2018 and Portage discovered elevated levels the following year.

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