What does this recent violation of water treatment requirements mean for us?

Many Kalamazoo residents received a notice from the city of Kalamazoo this weekend in the mail regarding a water quality violation,

Our water system recently violated a drinking water treatment technique for corrosion control.  Although this situation does not require that you take immediate action, as our customers you have a right to know what happened, what you should do, and what we are doing to correct this situation.

It goes on to say, that as a Kalamazoo (or Parchment) resident there is nothing we should do.  We do not need to boil our water or stop using it all together.  In fact, this is where this notice gets strange.

The notice says the city of Kalamazoo is allowed 9 excursion days in a six-month period.  Kalamazoo exceeded that by one day.  This happened between January 1st - June 30th of 2019.  So, our water maybe fine right now.  However, why is the city notifying us in late December?

This isn't the first time in recent history that this has happened according to documents at Kalamazoocity.org,

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On the bright side.  This isn't a huge health risk like the ongoing lead problem in the Flint water system or PFAS in the Parchment water system in 2018.  This time phosphate was found to be outside of state-designated ranges.  Phosphate has not only been used in the Kalamazoo water system since the 1950's to reduce corrosion in pipes, but it was also used when Kalamazoo took over the Parchment water system during their PFAS problem.

How dangerous is phosphate?  It depends on how much according to Lenntech.com,

Too much phosphate can cause health problems, such as kidney damage and osteoporosis. Phosphate shortages can also occur. These are caused by extensive use of medicine. Too little phosphate can cause health problems.

The notice from the city of Kalamazoo does not tell us how far outside the state-designated ranges we were.

If you have any questions, please contact: James J. Baker, PE, Director of Public Services 415 E. Stockbridge Ave. (269) 337-8000

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