June 14, 2018
Important information about your drinking water
*Use bottled water for infants*
City water samples found to have elevated levels of manganese
The City of Battle Creek has found levels of manganese in the drinking water higher than the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s acute health advisory level.
The levels were first found at a fire hydrant in the City of Springfield, which buys its water from Battle Creek. More testing was done, and elevated levels also were found at a hydrant in Battle Creek.
As our customers, you have a right to know what has happened, what you should do, and what we are doing to correct this situation. While we do not have elevated results from Bedford, Emmett, and Pennfield townships, we are including our customers in those areas as well, to be sure everyone knows what is happening.
We routinely monitor your water for the presence of many regulated drinking water contaminants. Although manganese is not part of our required, routine testing, manganese samples were taken as part of an unregulated contaminant monitoring program required by the EPA.
Testing results for manganese collected in Battle Creek were 0.98 parts per million (ppm), and in Springfield were 0.68 ppm. The health advisory level for children under 12 months old is 0.3 ppm for short-term exposure – one to 10 days. The health advisory level for children older than 12 months, and adults, is 1.0 ppm for short-term exposure.
We also have tested the water where it comes out of our drinking water treatment plant – Verona Pumping Station – and did not find manganese.
What should I do?
Use bottled water only for children under 12 months old (infants).
Some amount of manganese is needed for the human body to function, but too much can be harmful. At the levels found in the above samples, the body of adults and children older than 12 months, can remove excess manganese. Infants’ bodies may not be able to remove too much manganese.
Making formula or foods with water containing high levels of manganese can increase an infant’s risk of health problems. Too much manganese is linked to learning and behavioral problems.
Do not boil the water. Boiling water does not remove manganese, and may increase the amount.
If you have medical questions, please contact your doctor.
What does this mean?
- Infants under 12 months of age should only be given bottled water for anything they eat or drink, including for making juice, formula, purees, and cereals.
- Adults and children older than 12 months can use tap water for drinking.
- Adults and children of any age can continue to bathe and shower, brush their teeth, and wash clothes, food, and dishes in tap water.
What happened? What is being done?
We are investigating why this has happened. As part of this, we will be flushing the fire hydrants and collecting more samples. We will give you more information as soon as we know what has happened and when it has been fixed.
For more information about manganese and your health, please contact the Calhoun County Public Health Department hotline at 269-969-6852. This hotline will provide general information and contact information, and allow callers to reach health department staff Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. You also can call the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services at 800-648-6942, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
The city also has set up a hotline, 269-966-3311, which will provide the information here, and connect callers with Department of Public Works staff, Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
Another good source of information on manganese, from the EPA: https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2014-09/documents/support_cc1_magnese_dwreport_0.pdf
Please share this information with anyone you know who drinks this water, especially those who may not have received this notice directly (those who live in apartments, nursing homes, schools, and businesses). You can do this by posting this notice in a public place or distributing copies by hand or mail.
City bottled distribution sites:
The city will distribute one case of water every 24 hours to city families with infants under 12 months old. These distribution sites will operate under the following hours until further notice.
-Battle Creek City Hall, 10 N. Division St. – 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday
-Battle Creek Department of Public Works, 150 S. Kendall St. – 7:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday
-Battle Creek Police Department, 20 N. Division St. – 8 a.m.-8 p.m. seven days a week
8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week at city fire stations 1-6:
-Fire Station 1, 195 E. Michigan Ave.
-Fire Station 2, 145 N. Washington Ave.
-Fire Station 3, 222 Cliff St.
-Fire Station 4, 8 S. 20th St.
-Fire Station 5, 1170 W. Michigan Ave.
-Fire Station 6, 2401 Capital Ave. SW