Some Kalamazoo County residents urged not to drink water due to PFAS contamination

Posted at 10:32 PM, Jul 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-27 23:18:57-04

Officials are warning residents of Kalamazoo County to stop using their water due to high amounts of the chemical perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) being found in the water supply of the City of Parchment. 

The Kalamazoo County Health & Community Services department along with the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, the City of Parchment and Cooper Township are advising residents using water from the City of Parchment's water supply to stop using it for drinking, cooking, making baby formula and food. That includes rinsing fruits and vegetables as well, a news release states. 

Boiling water will not remove PFAS, and common residential filters do not treat PFAS. 

Officials say touching the water is not a health concern, so you can bathe and wash clothes, just do not ingest the water or give it to pets to drink. 

Bottled water will be provided to residents affected starting on Friday, July 27. Those bottles can be picked up at these locations: Parchment High School, 1916 E. G Ave.; Cooper Township Fire Station #2, 3160 McKinley; and Parchment United Methodist Church, 225 Glendale Blvd. 

Pick up times are from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.

A short-term solution is being activated within the next 24-48 hours:

1. The City of Parchment’s water supply system is being drained.
2. Once it is drained, the City of Kalamazoo will connect residents on the City of Parchment’s water supply to the City of Kalamazoo’s water supply system. Residents will be notified once this occurs.
3. The City of Kalamazoo will begin flushing the City of Parchment’s water supply system.
4. The City of Kalamazoo will continue flushing out the City of Parchment’s water supply system until test results come back that shows the PFAS levels are below the health advisory level. We do not know how long this process will take, but residents will not be connected back to the City of Parchment’s water supply until it is approved.

For more information contact 269-567-7595 or 269-567-2517.