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Chemical Storage Inventory Form

If you have been notified by the City of Kalamazoo that you are required to complete either Part 1 and/or Part 2 of the Chemical Storage Inventory Form, this page provides the information you need to complete and submit the form.


Please use the link below to access the form:


  pdf Chemical Storage Inventory Form (Parts 1 and 2) (288 KB)


The form can be filled-in online. Once complete, save the form and email the completed form to:




If preferred, you can print out the form, complete it manually and mail it to:


Department of Public Services, Environmental Services Division 

ATTN: Environmental Programs Manager 

1415 N. Harrison Street 

Kalamazoo, MI 49007


If you received an index card during a site inspection by a Public Safety Officer, the inspection date will be noted on the card. The completed Chemical Storage Inventory Form must be submitted within 60 days of the date on the card.


If you have questions regarding Part 1 of the form, please contact: the Fire Marshal, Phone: (269) 337-8250, email: williamsj@kalamazoocity.org


If you have questions regarding Part 2 of the form, please contact: the Environmental Programs Manager, Phone: (269) 337-8737, email: paquinj@kalamazoocity.org 

EMS Manual

Table of Contents

pdf  Element 1    EMS Manual
pdf  Element 2    EMS Biosolids Management Policy
pdf  Element 3    EMS Critical Control Points
pdf  Element 4    EMS Legal and Other Responsibilities
pdf  Element 5    EMS Goals and Objectives
pdf  Element 6    EMS Public Participation
pdf  Element 7    EMS Roles and Responsibilities
pdf  Element 8    EMS Training
pdf  Element 9    EMS Communication
pdf  Element 10   EMS Operational Control of Critical Control Points
pdf  Element 11   EMS Emergency Preparedness and Response
pdf  Element 12   EMS Documentation and Document Control
pdf  Element 13   EMS Monitoring and Measurement
pdf  Element 14   EMS Non-conformance (Preventive and Corrective)
pdf  Element 15   EMS Biosolids Management Program Report
pdf  Element 16   Internal EMS Audit
pdf  Element 17   EMS Management Review
pdf  Appendix A   Glossary of Terms
pdf  Appendix B   List of Acronyms
pdf  Appendix C   Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Wastewater Movie Part 3 click after loading to begin viewing

Wastewater Movie Part 1 click after loading to begin viewing

Wastewater Movie Part 2 click after loading to begin viewing

Wastewater Movie Part 4 click after loading to begin viewing

Plant Tours

The City of Kalamazoo offers FREE plant tours (by appointment only) all year round.
The tour has 2 parts and generally lasts about 2.5 hours. The first part is an informational video outlining the who, what, when, where, and why's of the plant's operations.

The web-based videos below utilize the Adobe Flash plug-in. They will begin to play after 20% has loaded and you press the 'play' button.

View the videos here:

Wastewater Treatment Video - Part 1 (the video uses Flash)
Wastewater Treatment Video - Part 2 (the video uses Flash)
Wastewater Treatment Video - Part 3 (the video uses Flash)
Wastewater Treatment Video - Part 4 (the video uses Flash)

The second part is an on foot journey where visitors get to see the plant's equipment at work. Tour sizes are generally limited to 30 people.

For more information please contact the Administrative office at (269) 337-8701.

How You Can Help

You can help yourself and operations at the Kalamazoo Wastewater Treatment Plant. Follow these suggestions when possible, and you'll save yourself money and make the KWRP more productive and cost-effective.

  • Do laundry, run the dishwasher, take showers and baths in "off" hours.

This equalizes the hydraulic load on the plant. For example, the mid-afternoon flow is 70% higher than the flow at midnight.

  • Do not flush disposable diapers, plastic sanitary applicators and other plastic or latex objects down the drain.

These items plug pumps and create nuisance waste in the plant. Ultimately they are sent to a landfill, so why create additional hassles that affect your bill? They also affect the operation of sand filters (see below). Of course, we do understand the fascination small children have with flushing objects down the toilet. Truly, a few lost blocks or socks are undoubtedly worth the joy of watching a child's wonder with moving water. (Perhaps there's a career in wastewater for that child!)

  • Remove plastic "windows" before recycling envelopes.

These small pieces of plastic end up in the wastewater when recyclable paper is washed prior to reprocessing. In the past few years, the increased amount of these plastics has resulted in plugging of tertiary sand filters, decreasing their efficiency and increasing maintenance. In addition, because so much of the KWRP operation is outdoors, these bits of plastic sometimes stick to equipment, dry out, and are caught by the wind - creating litter and contaminating food and water sources for wildlife.

We know these suggestions may create a hassle for you. We appreciate any effort you make to keep the environment cleaner and make our job easier. Thank you!

Wastewater Treatment Process

The Kalamazoo Water Reclamation Plant (KWRP) processes 25 million gallons of wastewater per day at its location on North Harrison Street in northeast Kalamazoo, adjacent to the Kalamazoo River. We all create dirty water, whether it's from the dishwasher, bathtub, drinking fountain, drain or, of course, the toilet. Industry produces a lot of wastewater through a variety of cleaning, cooling and manufacturing processes. Whenever water goes down a drain into a sewer in the greater metropolitan area, it finds its way to KWRP.

When wastewater first leaves its point of origin, it flows downhill at about two feet per second through over 890 miles of sewer line until it reaches one of more than 60 lift stations located throughout the area. You would seldom notice such a station, as it generally consists of a manhole and a small control unit. The pump in the lift station raises the water so it again can use the force of gravity to flow closer and closer to the plant. Also, as the flows get closer to the plant, the sewer lines get larger and larger in order to accommodate greater flows, finally reaching a diameter of 72".

Many years ago, when the City of Kalamazoo was first constructing its sewer lines, it kept the sewer flows separate from the storm water flows. Such excellent forethought on the part of the City Fathers has prevented hydraulic overload on the KWRP during rainstorms and spring thaws, thus protecting the Kalamazoo River from receiving raw sewage. Other cities with combined systems are not so fortunate.

When the wastewater arrives at the KWRP, it contains much less than one-tenth of one percent solids. Solids consist of dissolved detergents, food, dirt, oil, industrial and human wastes. The goal of the plant is to remove as much of the solids as possible. The KWRP receives almost 18,000 gallons of wastewater per minute. Those 18,000 gallons contain less than one quarter pound of solids. Withdrawing those solids and disposing of them properly keeps our environment - especially our streams and rivers - safe for plants, animals, ourselves and future generations.

Raw wastewater, also called "influent", is generally gray in color. It has a musty but not unpleasant odor.

The first step in cleaning the water is to remove the large solids - such as rags, toys, sticks, the occasional tire, snake or shoe - by allowing the water to flow through a screen. Then the water is pumped above ground through an aerated grit channel. Air is injected into the channel, creating a mixture of air and water that has a lower specific gravity than grit. The air also produces a rolling action that keeps lighter solids in suspension and allows smaller, heavier particles such as egg shells, sand, metal shavings and the like to settle to the bottom of the channel. These small particles are then removed. Had they not been removed, they could cause damage to the pumps located downstream in the KWRP.

After the grit channel, the water flows into as many as six primary settling tanks. These large tanks slow the water to the point where it appears almost motionless. Heavy solids settle along the bottom of the tanks, and floating solids - such as plastic or grease - collect on the surface. A collector pushes settled solids toward a pumping area where this "sludge" is pumped away for further treatment. The same collector skims the floating solids, called "scum", out of the tank to a disposal container. The remainder of the water - called primary effluent - contains dissolved and suspended solids. From this point the effluent flows to the mixing chamber. In the mixing chamber, primary effluent mixes with carbon and internal flows from the plant and becomes the secondary influent flow. From here, the wastewater flows to the secondary aeration tanks.

The KWRP uses Biological Nutrient Removal (BNR) with powered activated carbon (PAC), a complex biological process, to treat wastewater. Microscopic organisms commonly referred to as "bugs", use dissolved solids in the waste stream as food. In as many as nine aeration tanks, the water is continuously agitated by air bubbles. Settled sludge or biosolids from the secondary clarifiers is returned to the head of the aeration tanks to mix with the secondary influent. This mixture, called "mixed liquor," creates the ideal environment for the bugs to survive, eating the dissolved solids and being eaten by increasingly larger organisms (though still microscopic.) After several hours, the mixed liquor flows into as many as seven final clarifiers. Here the bugs, having eaten all the dissolved solids and full of "food," settle to the bottom of the clarifier along with the carbon. The result: clear effluent or "supernatant."

The final - tertiary - stage of treatment consists of filtering the effluent through sand and then dosing it with chlorine to kill any pathogenic bacteria, and then neutralizing the chlorine with bisulfite. The treated water, called plant effluent, is released to the Kalamazoo River, clean, clear and safe for fish and other riparian wildlife.

Remember the one quarter pound per minute of solids that entered the plant? Dealing with those solids after they've been separated from the water constitutes a large amount of the KWRP physical and financial resources.

Settled sludge or biosolids from the Primary settling tanks is pumped to Primary Thickeners. A portion of the Secondary mixed liquor is pumped to Secondary thickeners. In these thickeners the biosolids are allowed to settle and become thicker. The settled sludge from the thickeners is pumped to a belt filter press, which mechanically squeezes as much water as possible from the sludge. This can be done separately or the two types of sludge can be mixed together, called co-mingled sludge. The result, whether separate or co-mingled, is a fairly dry cake sent to a landfill.

Successful wastewater treatment involves removal of most solids, disinfection, and treatment of removed solids - all without negatively affecting the environment. The City of Kalamazoo can proudly state it does this job well.

You can tour the Kalamazoo Water Reclamation Plant. For more information visit the Plant Tour page or contact the Administrative office at (269) 337-8701.

Wastewater - Past, Present, and Future


Wastewater treatment hasn't always been modern or effective. A little over a century ago, wastewater in Kalamazoo was sent directly to the Kalamazoo River or its tributaries. Around the world, sending raw, untreated sewage to rivers is still a common practice. Such unsafe practices result in polluted rivers, destruction of plants and animals, and diseases such as Cholera, Typhoid, Dysentery, Polio and Hepatitis.

In 1881, the Village of Kalamazoo acknowledged the need to control its wastewater by constructing a separate collection system for sanitary sewage. However, because populations were small and manufacturing caused little environmental damage, there was little need to treat wastewater until several decades later. In 1955, Kalamazoo built its first wastewater treatment plant. This plant processed 7 million gallons of wastewater per day using a simple process of solids removal through settling.

Public concerns about environmental degradation in the 1960s resulted in increasingly stringent effluent requirements. During the 1960s, the citizens of Kalamazoo and the industrial community began a partnership to improve sewage treatment capabilities for residents of Kalamazoo County. Advanced treatment facilities for removal of dissolved solids began operation in 1967. Improved facilities for processing biosolids - solids removed from the wastewater - became operational in June 1971.

With the passage of the Clean Water Act in 1972, Congress made a commitment to restore the nation’s water resources. Projections indicated that effluent requirements would become more restrictive and sanitary service needs of communities would increase. Again, the citizens of Kalamazoo worked with the environmental and industrial communities, this time conducting pilot studies to determine the most cost-effective means of meeting current and future requirements. With federal assistance, the community embarked on a long series of construction projects to upgrade the Kalamazoo plant. This development was completed in 1987.

The City of Kalamazoo Water Reclamation Plant (KWRP) currently provides treatment services to more than 150,000 residents in 18 Kalamazoo area municipal jurisdictions. Additionally, the KWRP maintains a septage receiving station for solids disposal for the remaining residents who are not connected directly to the collection system.

The KWRP uses an innovative treatment system to treat a variety of pollutants in concentrations that most other plants cannot. The plant incorporates powdered activated carbon (PAC) treatment into its secondary process. With a PAC process, the plant treats wastewater from a variety of industries without the need for pretreatment.

The KWRP currently receives a significant portion of its wastewater from industrial sources. Manufacturers that produce pharmaceuticals, organic chemicals, spices and food additives, as well as projects associated from groundwater clean-up and remediation of contaminated groundwater directly benefit from the PAC process. By providing these businesses with state-of-the-art, unique wastewater treatment, the KWRP helps the community attract and retain employers who offer opportunities to skilled and educated residents.

To perform treatability studies on process changes and high-strength waste streams from prospective industrial users the KWRP build a pilot plant in 1995. The Pilot Plant had a greater purpose than improving operations at the KWRP. Wastewater research is generally theoretical; but research performed in the Pilot Plant is practical. The Pilot Plant offered a dual train biological PAC system with tertiary sand filtration. In the Pilot Plant, operators tested waste streams, chemicals and plant modifications without placing the environment at risk. Since becoming operational in February 1996, Pilot Plant studies led to operation changes in the KWRP that yielded substantial savings in treatment costs through implementation of more efficient processes. The Pilot Plant was shut down in 2009.

Limits & Permits

Discharges to the Kalamazoo Water Reclamation Plant

Discharges from users to the KWRP are listed below (condensed from the General Pretreatment Regulations and the Kalamazoo City Code of Ordinances).


Pollutant Daily Maximum Concentration
cadmium 0.040 mg/L
chromium 4.670 mg/L
copper 2.230 mg/L
lead 0.110 mg/L
nickel 1.590 mg/L
zinc 5.300 mg/L
cyanide 0.250 mg/L
total petroleum hydrocarbon 100.0 mg/L
pH 6.2-9.8 S.U.
BETX 15.0 mg/L

Prohibited Discharges

PCB's - no discharge allowed. (0.0001 mg/L required detection limit)

Mercury - no discharge allowed. (0.0002 mg/L required detection limit)

Pollutants which cause a fire or explosion hazard including, but not limited to waste streams with a closed cup flash point of less than 140° Fahrenheit or 60° Centigrade.

Solid or viscous pollutants in amounts that will cause obstruction in flow, or interference with the operation of the wastewater system.

Any pollutant, including oxygen demanding pollutants (BOD, etc.), that will cause interference with wastewater treatment or which will pass through untreated.

Heat in amounts that will inhibit biological activity, but in no case heat in such quantities that the temperature at the plant exceeds 40°C (104°F).

Pollutants that result in the presence of toxic gases, vapors or fumes in a quantity that may cause worker health and safety problems for sewer workers or the general public.

Any trucked or hauled pollutants except at a designated discharge point at the Kalamazoo Water Reclamation Plant.

Radioactive wastes or isotopes, unless their disposal via wastewater is authorized by federal, state and local regulations; and then only when discharged into the wastewater system does not cause damage or a hazard to the system, persons operating the system, or the general public.

Wasteater discharged at a rate that upsets or interferes with the treatment process or causes a hydraulic surge.

Storm water, uncontaminated groundwater, and unpolluted non-contact cooling water.

In addition to these limitations, certain industrial discharges are subject to Categorical Pretreatment Standards.

Discharges to the Kalamazoo River from the KWRP - National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit

The City of Kalamazoo Wastewater Treatment Plant currently discharges to the Kalamazoo River under a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit MI0023299. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Department of Environmental Quality issued the NPDES permit to the Kalamazoo WWTP.

This detailed permit includes the following information that may interest many citizens of Kalamazoo

Effluent Limitation

   Time    Concentration  Frequency 
CBOD5  5/1-9/30  10 mg/L  daily maximum
4 mg/L monthly average
   10/1-10/31  15 mg/L  daily maximum
11/1-11/30  27 mg/L  daily maximum
   12/1-4/30  25 mg/L  monthly average
40 mg/L 7 day average
Total  5/1-9/30  20 mg/L  monthly average
Suspended  30 mg/L 7 day average
Solids 10/1-4/30 30 mg/L monthly average
45 mg/L 7 day average
Ammonia 5/1-9/30  2 mg/L  daily maximum
(N) 0.5 mg/L monthly average
10/1-10/31  6.5 mg/L  daily maximum
Phosphorus  year-round  1.0 mg/L or 225 lbs monthly average
(P) (whichever is less)
Fecal  year-round  200 counts/100mL  monthly average
Coliform 400 counts/100mL  7 day average
Chlorine  year-round  0.038 mg/L  daily maximum
pH  year-round  6.0 S.U. daily minimum
9.0 S.U. daily maximum
Dissolved  year-round  4.0 mg/L daily minimum
Total  year-round 3.0 ng/L  12 month rolling
Mercury and average
0.0013 lbs/day quarterly test
Chronic  year-round 2.0 TUc  monthly average
Toxicity quarterly test
Acute  year-round  1.0 TUa  quarterly test
Selenium 4.5 lbs daily maximum
and average
10 ug/L quarterly test


The permittee shall have the legal authority and necessary interjurisdictional agreements that provide the basis for implementation and enforcement of the approved Federal Industrial Pretreatment Program throughout the service area.

The permittee shall maintain a list of its non-domestic users that meet the criteria of a "significant industrial user."

The permittee shall give proof of publication of all non-domestic users in significant noncompliance in the largest daily newspaper in the permittee's area.

For more information regarding discharge restrictions, limits or regulations, contact Steve Rochow at (269) 337-8365.

Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan

Although the KWRP has separate sanitary sewer and storm water systems, it must still monitor inflow to the Kalamazoo River that comes from the storm sewer. Therefore, the KWRP has developed a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan. This plan ensures that no substance enters the river through the KWRP storm sewer that could violate Michigan's Water Quality Standards.

Wastewater Rates

The City of Kalamazoo charges for flows coming from any building or premises having a connection to the sewer collection system. The City bases rates for treatment service on the water consumption of the user's premises*.

If the owner of the building receives water from any source other than the City Water Department, the owner must arrange to have suitable metering facilities installed at the owner's expense. The Water Department will provide, maintain and read the meter, and will charge an applicable water service fee in addition to the established rate for wastewater service.

Any user of the wastewater system may elect to rearrange his water supply pipes and metering for the purpose of eliminating water consumption charges for water that is not running to sanitary sewers. All such arrangements are subject to the approval of the Director, and expenses for installation, maintenance and operation will be borne by the user.

*Summer water consumption for lawn sprinkling and swimming pools should not exceed 120% of winter quarter consumption for quarterly users whose winter quarter consumption is less than 200 cubic meters and monthly costumers whose winter quarter water consumption does not exceed 66 cubic meters per month.

Rate Determination For Retail Commodity Users

The City of Kalamazoo owns and operates the Kalamazoo Water Reclamation Plant (KWRP). As a return on taxpayers' investment, users within the city limits of Kalamazoo are charged a lower rate for wastewater discharged to the KWRP than users outside the city limits.

Values used to represent domestic strength of wastewater are:

  • 236 mg/L BOD (biochemical oxygen demand)
  • 168 mg/L SS (suspended solids)
  • 23 mg/L NH3 (ammonia nitrogen)

Most users of the system discharge at or below domestic strength. These users are billed based on a commodity value per cubic meter of water consumption.

Rates For Commodity Users

All rates can be found on our pdf  Rate Schedule .

Wholesale Rate For Municipalities

Kalamazoo also provides a wholesale rate for several municipal customers. This rate is approximately two-thirds the rate charged to City of Kalamazoo commodity users. Wastewater from wholesale municipalities is channeled through a master metering station.

The Villages of Augusta and Vicksburg along with the Cities of Parchment and Portage are classified as "Master Metered Customers."

Additionally, the City of Galesburg and portions of the City of Portage discharge wastewater that does not flow through a master meter. The customers are charged a rate that accounts for infiltration and inflow of groundwater.

Rate Determination For Surcharge Users

Industrial users pay "Quantity/Quality" charges based on the strength of their wastewater. This billing system establishes a value on several variables representative for the strength of the wastewater compared with typical residential discharges. City technical services staff routinely monitor industrial flows for BOD, SS and NH3 strength. If this monitoring demonstrates a particular user has higher than normal waste characteristics, the user is billed according to the strength of the discharge.


Dewatering is the temporary discharge of ground water associated with a construction project that needs to maintain below grade excavation free from surface or subsurface infiltration of water.

Septage and Liquid Industrial Waste Haulers

Hauled waste may be discharged only at the KWRP hauled waste receiving station. Hauled waste will be accepted only if the hauler meets the following conditions:

  1. The hauled waste is domestic waste and:
    • consists only of septage waste;
    • is delivered by a hauler licensed for septage hauling in the state of Michigan.
  2. The hauled waste is non-domestic waste and:
    • consists only of nonhazardous waste;
    • is delivered by a hauler licensed for hauling liquid industrial waste in the state of Michigan.
    • The generator provides in writing a description of the origin of the waste, identification of all pollutants, and certification that the waste is not hazardous by either listing or characteristic as defined by the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA,0);
    • prior to discharge, the generator provides sample analysis that demonstrates the waste is not a RCRA characteristic hazardous waste and meets all local discharge limits and applicable categorical pretreatment standards;
    • has been approved by the Directory prior to hauling to the KWRP;
    • delivery times have been arranged with KWRP personnel prior to disposal.
  3. In addition to the above, the waste must meet any other applicable conditions imposed by the Director.
  4. Upon deliver of waste, a hauler must complete and sign a form provided at the receiving station. This form details the source of the waste and presents a certification statement that the waste is nonhazardous and that the hauler understands the consequences for noncompliance.

Septage haulers average strength of wastewater is:

  • 6,000 mg/L BOD (biochemical oxygen demand)
  • 14,000 mg/L SS (suspended solids)
  • 157 mg/L NH3 (ammonia nitrogen)

Septage haulers whose wastewater strengths are below these amounts may document their wastewater strengths to the satisfaction of the Director and will be allowed to lower quantity/quality rates.

Septage rates are the same inside and outside The City of Kalamazoo - $12.506 per cubic meter.

If you have further questions, contact the Customer Service Office at (269) 337-8149.

Facility Design

The Kalamazoo Water Reclamation Plant (KWRP) has the reputation of producing some of the best effluent - or clean water - in the state. Kalamazoo expects to continue this record of excellence.

While the KWRP has not reached its operational limits, there are two critical factors to consider. The first factor is the capacity of its physical structures. Flow into the KWRP averages 25 million gallons per day (MGD). This is less than half of the maximum design flow of 53.5 MGD, leaving plenty of room to grow and accept more flow. About half of this flow comes from industrial and commercial users such as large manufacturers and hospitals. The balance of the flow comes from residential customers, schools, and other industries.

The second critical factor is biological treatment limitations. The KWRP operates an "activated sludge" wastewater processing system. The activated sludge process is a living biological process. Activated sludge contains different types of microorganisms. These microorganisms, commonly called "bugs", are as important to the treatment of wastewater as any piece of equipment. Activated sludge treatment is a complex process that requires healthy bugs and a physical plant capable of handling flow that changes constantly in terms of volume and concentration of various solids. Fortunately, due to testing in the KWRP Pilot Plant (shown right), methods for increased efficiency within the system are proving successful and economical. Thus, the KWRP is ready and able to service increased numbers of industrial and residential users.

Physical components of the system include:


  • 3 bar screens

  • 3 rotary fine screens

  • 6 raw wastewater pumps (4 variable speed pumps)

  • 6 primary settling tanks - 68,850 cu ft. or 0.515 million gallons (MG) each

  • 9 aeration tanks - 272,000 cu ft. or 2.03 MG each

  • 4 blowers – 2 @ 2500 HP and 2 @ 1500 HP

  • 7 secondary clarifiers - 4 @ 1.85 MG each and 3 @ 1.32 MG each

  • 5 screw pumps for secondary effluent

  • 10 tertiary sand filters - 1173 cu ft. or 8770 gals each

  • many other pumps, both on-site and remote

  • automated control system

Solids Handling

  • 4 Belt Filter Presses

  • 1 Pasteurization Unit

  • 3 Biosolids Storage Bunkers (40,000 cubic feet each)

Pilot Plant

  • 2 equalization tanks

  • 2 aeration tanks

  • 2 secondary clarifiers

  • 3 tertiary sand filters

  • 2 secondary sludge gravity thickeners

  • plus laboratory equipment including an Arthur® Respirometer

KWRP uses powdered activated carbon in its process (PAC) - a modification of the activated sludge process that few plants use. The carbon modification allows the plant to treat strong industrial discharges without harming the microorganisms. The carbon protects the bugs from strong toxins by adsorbing them and helps dissolved chemicals settle. Microscopic examination of flow in the aeration tank indicates whether or not the bugs are healthy and active. Appropriate populations of free-swimming and stalk ciliates, rotifers and flagellates indicate a well-run process. A balanced growth of residential and industrial users provides ideal conditions for maximum productivity in the plant.

The KWRP currently operates at 47% hydraulic capacity.

Environmental Concerns Committee

The Environmental Concerns Committee is advisory to the city commission and the city manager.

The responsibilities of the Environmental Concerns Committee are:

  • to identify significant environmental trends or activities in the city,
  • to provide a forum for citizen input on environmental matters,
  • to be apprised of significant City environmental activities,
  • to consult with other governmental environmental entities on problems that extend beyond the City,
  • to review environmental documents related to City activities, and
  • to report on all of these and, where appropriate, provide recommendations to the city commission.


Kalamazoo Water Reclamation Plant's Environmental Management System

The Kalamazoo Water Reclamation Plant (KWRP) will provide overview of its biosolids - related activities by instituting an Environmental Management System (EMS) as outlined by the City of Kalamazoo's Biosolids Management Policy and the National Biosolids Partnership (NBP) Code of Good Practice.

The EMS will be a "living" document that will allow the KWRP to produce a high quality biosolids that meets or exceeds all regulatory compliance and enhances environmental sustainability.

The EMS program will be part of the City's strategic focus on environmental stewardship and help promote communication of its activities to all "Interested Parties and Stakeholders" through this website. Input from "Interested Parties and Stakeholders" will help the KWRP to set up future goals and objectives for the program.

By implementing the EMS Biosolids Value Chain the KWRP will be able to efficiently monitor and control all aspects of the biosolids - related activities that have been identified. Standard Operating Procedures and continual training for all personnel involved with the biosolids processes will help the KWRP to strive for continual improvements in its EMS.

The EMS will be audited and certified through the NBP and an independent third party auditor on a regular basis to insure compliance with set standards and regulations for biosolids production and distribution. (The first audit was in 2008.)

Contact person:
Robert Cochran - Biosolids EMS Supervisor

Illicit Discharge Elimination Program

The Phase II Stormwater Regulations include measures that must be met by municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) owners. One of the required components of the regulations is the Illicit Discharge Elimination Program (IDEP). To address this requirement, MS4's need to develop an IDEP Plan that is designed to prohibit and effectively eliminate illicit discharges and connections, including discharges of sanitary wastewater to the permittee's separate storm sewer system.

An approved MS4 IDEP Plan contains the following necessary requirements:

  • A program to find, prioritize and eliminate illicit discharges and illicit connections identified during dry weather screening activities.
  • A description of a program to minimize infiltration of seepage from sanitary sewers and on-site sewage disposal systems into the storm sewer drainage system.
  • A method for determining the effectiveness of the illicit discharge elimination activities, which shall result in the inspection of each storm water point source a minimum of every five years unless an alternative schedule is approved.
  • An updated map showing the location of each known stormwater point source (outfall) and the respective receiving water or drainage system.

The City of Kalamazoo prepared an IDEP Plan as part of its Stormwater NPDES Permit Application in March 2003 and a revised plan in December 2004. The City is performing dry weather screenings of the outfalls to identify illicit connections, and performing facility inspections.

Site Plan Review

A description of the Site Plan Review process and associated Site Plan Review requirements can be found on the Planning page.

Additional requirements that pertain to water resources protection include but are not limited to the following:

  • Ordinance Number 1825, Appendix A: Chapter 3, Section 3.6 "Wellhead Protection Zoning Overlay" that addresses land use prohibitions, restrictions, and the necessity of groundwater protective measures within Wellhead Protection Capture Zones
  • Ordinance Number 1826, Appendix A: Chapter 8, Section 8.3 "Performance Standards for Groundwater Protection within Wellhead Protection Capture Zones and Stormwater Quality Management" that requires protective measures to minimize potential adverse impacts to groundwater sources that provide drinking water supplies and surface water resources
  • Chapter 29 "Stormwater System" of the Code of Ordinances that primarily addresses illicit connections and discharges to the City's stormwater collection system

HazMat Management Program

Hazardous materials by accidental spill, neglect or by criminal action can get out of place in the environment. When this happens LIFE, SAFETY, and property needs to be protected. Resources we use in common such as ground water need protection. A family living in an apartment next to an abandon METH lab needs to be protected from toxic materials. These very different problems along with spills or improper material handling need a timely response that protects LIFE, SAFETY and property. The following mitigation of these hazardous materials requires the proper resources and professionalism.

To accomplish this, a regional Hazardous Materials Management Team was established in 2004. The City of Kalamazoo Public Safety Department team members have joined with members from the City of Portage, Kalamazoo County, Comstock Township, Oshtemo Township, Pfizer Corp., South Kalamazoo County Governments and others. There are about 40 members on the team, with an executive board representing the contributing governments and industries. This Team is an efficient use of resources, from the training needed or equipment used, but the level of resources needed would be difficult for any one local governmental unit to support. An intergovernmental team approach has the resources to do the job. Keeping the best use of resources in mind, after the Hazardous Materials Management Team responds too an incident, private contractors may quickly become involve in the remediation of the site in a cooperative effort.

The cost of response for remediation of a Hazardous Materials spill or incident can quickly rise. The cost of billed time and one-time use gear add up. The citizen, business or corporation processing or transporting Hazardous Materials should use due caution and follow the regulations that apply. Your local Hazardous Materials Management Team will bill the party at fault for a Hazardous Materials incident or spill. Be responsible avoid the bill. Protect the environment.

Contact: Chris Kotecki (269) 337-8071

Contaminated Sites Program

The Environmental Services Division (ESD) works to identify and manage contaminated sites in the City of Kalamazoo that may threaten public health and well-being, including our drinking water supplies. Such sites include abandoned and active gas stations, dry cleaners, industries, and other potential sources of pollutants.

At sites where the City has liability for contamination and some financial responsibility for remediation, ESD staff participate actively in characterizing the problem, identifying a solution, and implementing a remedial strategy approved by the appropriate regulatory agency, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality or the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Examples included Superfund sites such as the former Cork Street Landfill. We also assist other City departments and Public Services divisions with environmental issues related to locations for which they have responsibility. ESD recently assisted in property acquisition for the new Consolidated Public Safety Station.

Kalamazoo River/Allied Paper Superfund Site

Wellhead Protection Program

The Wellhead Protection Program (WHPP) is an organized planning and management effort to protect groundwater used by public water supply systems (PWSS) from known and potential sources of contamination. The 1986 Amendments to the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act required states to implement a WHPP, and currently in Michigan, participation is voluntary for PWSS. However, if PWSS do participate in the program, they must follow established State guidelines for the program.

Required elements of a Wellhead Protection Program are:

  • Definition of the roles and responsibilities
  • Delineation of Capture Zones, the surface and subsurface area surrounding a water well or wellfield which contributes groundwater used by a PWSS. This area, where contaminants could move from to eventually impact wells or wellfields, is designated as a Wellhead Protection Area (WHPA)
  • Preparation of a contaminant source inventory
  • Development of contingency plans for water supply emergencies
  • Development of wellhead protection area management plans
  • Proper siting of new wells and/or wellfields
  • Development of public education and participation

There are many reasons for a PWSS to have a WHPP, including: increased protection of public health by protecting drinking water supplies, protection of the financial investment in the PWSS by avoiding costly environmental cleanups; economic impacts and lawsuits; additional support from state and federal agencies when threats to groundwater occur within WHPAs; potential for reducing state and federal requirements for water quality monitoring; clarification of responsibilities and coordination of efforts among local, county and state governmental agendas; and enhanced community pride, self-sufficiency and public trust.

The City of Kalamazoo serves as a public water supply system to over 121,000 persons in an approximate 120 square mile service area and provides service to all or portions of the City of Kalamazoo, City of Portage, Village of Richland, and the Townships of Comstock, Cooper, Kalamazoo, Oshtemo, Pavilion, Richland and Texas. The water system is the second largest groundwater based drinking water supply system in Michigan, pumping an average of 19 million gallons per day (MGD) with a capacity of approximately 58 MGD. There are 18 pumping stations and 19 wellfields, including 102 wells.

The City of Kalamazoo has been involved in the Wellhead Protection Program since 1992, and formed the City of Kalamazoo Wellhead Protection Committee in 1993. The approach in Kalamazoo has been somewhat unique in comparison to most of the over 100 Michigan communities involved in the program, since it is addressing all seven program elements concurrently.

What's New with the City's Wellhead Protection Program?

2007 was another busy year for the City of Kalamazoo's Wellhead Protection Program:

  • The City completed its grant obligations of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality's Wellhead Protection Grant Program for the period 10-1-06 through 9-30-07. The City's Wellhead Protection Program Grant Proposal Application was approved for $70,000 for the period.
  • The City was also designated a 2007 Groundwater Guardian Community by the Groundwater Foundation. The City has been designated a Groundwater Guardian Community since 1998.
  • We provided numerous groundwater model demonstrations, had free give-a-ways (posters, pencils, keychains, erasers, bookmarks, magnets, etc.), provided Wellhead Protection related presentations in numerous schools, professional meetings, conferences, and workshops, and other public events.
  • The City's Wellhead Protection Committee continued its rotation of 9 groundwater protection cinema ads at the Kalamazoo 10 Theater. Since November 2006 "still" groundwater protection cinema ads have also been running at Kalamazoo's Rave 14 Theater.
  • The City adopted a Wellhead Protection Capture Zone Ordinance with Performance Standards for Groundwater Protection in WHPAs and stormwater quality management.
  • Updates to the WHPP Contingency Plan were made.
  • Our Wellhead Protection Team continues to be a dynamic group with representatives from area businesses, local governments and citizens of the metropolitan area.
  • The Michigan section of the American Water Works Association awarded the 2007 Richard Husby Public Awareness Award to the City of Kalamazoo's Wellhead Protection Team.

What's Ahead?

  • The City of Kalamazoo Wellhead Protection Team is planning for new educational opportunities, and capitalizing on regularly scheduled ones, including give-a-ways of posters, t-shirts, and various "groundwater protection message" bookmarks, magnets, games, pencils, videos and books.
  • The City's Wellhead Protection Team will begin work on designing and placing groundwater protection ads on the exteriors of the City bus fleet.

Link to State of Michigan - Department of Environmental Quality

Environmental Services

Vision Statement

It is our vision to improve the environment by reaching beyond compliance toward excellence in environmental stewardship. 

Mission Statement

It is our mission to maintain compliance and create a culture of environmental stewardship through proactive collaboration in regulatory oversight and support, program development and administration, and public outreach/education.

Drinking Water Compliance & Stewardship

Environmental Assessment

Stormwater Compliance & Stewardship

Wastewater Compliance & Stewardship


Welcome to the Kalamazoo Water Reclamation Plant (KWRP), the community's sewage treatment facility. Our job is to clean up the dirty water that flows through approximately 600 miles of sewer lines throughout Kalamazoo and the surrounding area. The design of the KWRP is critical to development of the metropolitan area surrounding Kalamazoo. This section covers the physical and biological components of the plant.

The process of wastewater treatment can be fascinating if you are interested in biology, the environment, or physical science. If you want to learn what happens to water after it goes down the drain, check out this topic.

Vision Statement

We will protect and improve the environment by reaching beyond compliance toward excellence in environmental stewardship by providing quality service for downstream users and future generations.

Mission Statement

It is our mission to maintain compliance and create a culture of environmental stewardship through proactive collaboration in regulatory oversight, support, and public outreach/education.

Drinking Water Compliance & Stewardship

•Cross Connection Program

•Source Management/ Hydrogeological Studies

•Water Compliance Monitoring Program

•Wellhead Protection Program

pdf Emergency Response (6.45 MB)

Environmental Assessment

Contaminated Sites Program

Hazardous Materials Management Program

Site Plan Review

Environmental Concerns Committee

Storm Water Compliance & Stewardship

Illicit Discharge Elimination Program

Municipal Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plans

Public Education Plans

Public Involvement/Participation Plans

Watershed Management Plans

Community Rain Barrel Sale

Wastewater Compliance & Stewardship

Industrial Pretreatment Program

Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Point Source

Wastewater Compliance Monitoring Program

•pdf  Emergency Response (6.45 MB)


For more information about the Wastewater Department, call us Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. at (269) 337-8701 or send us an email at: cokpublicservices@kalamazoocity.org.


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