The city has dedicated a web page to the documents, test reports, and other information related to the elevated levels of the element manganese found in City of Battle Creek drinking water in June of 2018.
Water customers, and others who are interested, can find this information at battlecreekmi.gov/manganese. To navigate there from the home page, visit Your Government; Public Works; Water & Wastewater; Manganese.
A drinking water advisory was issued on Thursday, June 14 to City of Battle Creek water customers, in collaboration with the Calhoun County Public Health Department, and Michigan Departments of Environmental Quality, and Health and Human Services. It advised that infants under 12 months should not drink tap water, due to elevated levels of manganese, an element that naturally occurs in soil and many foods, but which can be harmful in high quantities. Later, health officials determined that those with significant liver disease also may wish to use bottled water during the advisory.
The advisory was released as a precaution, and bottled water was distributed, as additional water samples were taken and tested. Results below the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standard – except for four wells – allowed the advisory to be lifted on Saturday, July 16.
The web page includes the water advisories and lift documents from June, the FAQs created by the Calhoun County Health Department, and the manganese testing results from June 15, as well as from later in June, as the City of Battle Creek took additional samples for testing during the final weeks of the city’s annual hydrant flushing program.
With the exception of the four wells, all of the test results since June 15 have returned below the EPA standard for manganese.
Also available on the web page are:
- A timeline of the water sampling, results, and communications between the state agencies and City of Battle Creek, along with events between June 14 and 16.
- An updated map of the water sample sites across the city’s water distribution system, including locations from the initial, June 15 sampling, and from the final weeks of the city’s hydrant flushing program.
- A graphic to help guide neighbors in reading the June 16 testing results report from ALS Environmental, on the June 15 water samples.
Four wells at the city’s Verona Pumping Station tested at or above the 0.3 parts per million EPA standard for manganese. Today, two of those wells (42 and 43) are locked out of service until further notice from the MDEQ. The other two wells (13 and 36) are test wells, which allow the city to take samples for routine testing to monitor the aquifer.
Neighbors have asked about individual water testing, which is available through the Calhoun County Public Health Department’s Environmental Health Division. If you would like your water tested for manganese, please contact the health department’s Environmental Health Division for more information, at 269-969-6341.
The city now daily tests water for manganese at the Verona Pumping Station. For approximately 20 years the plant has removed radon, iron, and manganese from the ground water before it is pumped into the distribution system.
Daily water testing also includes:
- pH – A measure, from zero to 14, of whether water is acidic or basic. Pure water has a pH of 7.
- Fluoride – Added to public water to benefit dental health.
- Phosphate – Added to public water to prevent pipe corrosion and leaching of lead.
- Iron – Metal naturally occurring in ground water.
- Dissolved oxygen – Oxygen gas absorbed into the water.