City Continues Replacement of Lead Water Services

On June 5, the Kalamazoo City Commission unanimously approved $1,656,509 to accelerate the replacement of lead water services within the City of Kalamazoo Public Water Supply System. Of the total funding, $500,000 was appropriated from Foundation for Excellence funds and will be used to accelerate replacement of services within the City.

The City of Kalamazoo and its contractors are currently in the process of replacing lead water services with plans to replace approximately 400 in 2017. This level of replacements represents a roughly four times more than previous years.

More than half of the lead services planned for replacement are located in Kalamazoo Township and will be removed by contractors in conjunction with Kalamazoo County Road Commission street construction projects.

Streets planned for lead service removals within Kalamazoo Township include Bronx Avenue, Dartmouth Avenue, Dayton Avenue, Sunnyside Drive, Texel Drive, Waverly Drive, Gertrude Street, Charles Avenue, Andora Avenue, Ann Street, Berkley Street, Carleton Avenue, Egleston Avenue, Grove Street, Lamont Avenue, Sonora Street, Stewart Drive, Westwood Drive, and Willis Avenue.

Contractors will also be performing replacements within the City of Kalamazoo on Locust Street, Bryant Street, Lane Street, Lane Alley, Cameron Street, Francis Court, Hazel Avenue, Midvale Terrace, Oakland Drive, Parkwood Avenue, Portage Street, and Vine Street.

City of Kalamazoo staff will also replace lead water services along West Main Street, Church Street, and others areas based on the results of water quality sampling.  As construction season progresses, additional streets may be added based on the availability of resources.

Customers that will see their services replaced this year will receive notification in advance of this work either in person or via a door hanger, and be provided the opportunity coordinate the timing of the work in accordance with their schedule. If no response is received from the customer, the replacement will still occur, which requires water service to be temporarily shut off. A typical replacement requires water service to be disconnected for approximately six hours. Customers are strongly encouraged to respond to these notices and coordinate replacements to avoid unnecessary disruption of water service.

The City of Kalamazoo’s public water supply system provides 17 million gallons of clean and safe water on an average day to approximately 123,000 customers within 10 jurisdictions. The City has had measures in place since 1956 to reduce water corrosiveness to components containing lead and copper, however staff continue to make progress towards the goal of replacing all lead services in the system. A proactive capital improvement program has been in place for over twenty years for this purpose.

The City of Kalamazoo greatly appreciates the patience and cooperation of affected customers throughout the process of replacing lead water services.