The City of Kalamazoo Public Water Supply System is the second largest groundwater-based drinking water system in Michigan and is ranked one of the lowest for water rates out of the twelve largest systems within the state. The City has a Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) approved Wellhead Protection Program, and in 2014 was awarded the Exemplary Source Water Protection Award by the American Water Works Association. Kalamazoo has also been designated a Groundwater Guardian Community by the Groundwater Foundation every year since 1998. Kalamazoo's water system provides 20 million gallons of water on an average day to 123,000 customers within 10 jurisdictions. The system includes approximately 813 miles of watermain and 5,757 hydrants.
Every year, the City of Kalamazoo publishes a Water Quality Report in compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act. However, much of the information provided in this report, along with additional monitoring and testing conducted throughout the year, are provided as an extra service to our customers. The City is also in compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act Lead & Copper Rule and has had a proactive annual lead and copper service replacement program for over twenty years. The City's laboratory also offers free water testing for concerned customers by calling (269) 337-8550.
The Water Resources Division also oversees the City's Environmental Services programs.
Customer service for water and sewer utility customers (including billing, payments, shut-offs for non-payment, transfers of service, and new service installation) is provided by the Treasurer's Office, located on the first floor of City Hall. Representatives are available weekdays between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. in person or by calling (269) 337-8149. Customers can pay their utility bills in person, by phone, or online. More information on payment options is available from the City Treasurer's Office.
To install new city water service for dwellings previously using well water, new construction, etc., please complete the appropriate application below and return it to the City Treasurer's Office located on the first floor of City Hall, 241 W South Street. An advance deposit of $350 is required for all new service connections. If water service is to be left on, an additional refundable customer security deposit may be required. Please be sure to bring a valid driver's license or Michigan I.D. If the dwelling is outside of the city limits, a permit from the village or township is also required.
To transfer service for a dwelling that is already connected to the City water system, please complete a Transfer or Water Service Application and return it to the City Treasurer's Office located on the first floor of City Hall, 241 W South Street. A refundable customer security deposit may be required, at a minimum of $40 for City residents and $60 for non-City residents. Please be sure to bring a valid driver's license or Michigan I.D.
The City of Kalamazoo offers information about water quality each year in the annual Water Quality Report, prepared in compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act. Much of the information provided in report, along with additional monitoring and testing conducted throughout the year, is beyond the requirements of the Act and offered as an extra service to customers. The report details many of the actions and programs in place to ensure Kalamazoo provides clean and safe water to all of our customers. Additional information about our efforts to protect our water and environment is available from the Environmental Services Division, and additional resources on groundwater, stormwater, and wellhead protection are available at www.protectyourwater.net.
If you are concerned about the water in your home, the City of Kalamazoo offers water testing to water customers. To have your water tested, please call (269) 337-8550 for more information and to schedule sampling.
Flushing Your Property's Plumbing
From newly paved roads, new utilities, and replaced lead services, construction season can be very busy. In certain areas of the water system, customers experience periods of elevated iron causing brownish/rusty looking water. The primary cause of the majority of these situations is the “stirring up” of the water in the water mains from construction-related activities. The City performs hydrant flushing in the Spring and Fall seasons to remove much of the sediment and iron that accumulates over time in the water main. On occasion, household and businesses would also benefit from flushing their interior plumbing. The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality has prepared pdf guidelines (115 KB) that explain how you can perform a beneficial interior flushing of your property's plumbing. The guidelines are available online pdf here (115 KB) .
The City of Kalamazoo takes issues related to our water system or water quality seriously. If you have questions or concerns, please call our Water Supply Operations number at (269) 337-8756. Other water related information is available at www.protectyourwater.net.
Over time, sediment can accumulate inside water mains, narrowing the path that water can flow through to homes and businesses. Twice per year, City personnel flush the hydrants in the City water system to remove these accumulated sediments to restore water flow and improve the performance of the system. During the flushing program, City personnel also check the pumps, storage tanks, mains, valves, and hydrants in the system to ensure that all components are functioning properly.
While the Hydrant Flushing Program doesn't affect the safety of the water supply, tap water may appear cloudy or discolored immediately after flushing occurs. If you experience this, run cold water in your utility sink or bath tub until the water runs clear again. We recommend that you do not use your washing machine for 24 hours after flushing occurs in your area to avoid potential discoloration of clothing.
Hydrant flushing occurs roughly over the course of a week each Spring and Fall. A map and schedule are made available before the program begins.
Boil Water Advisories & Orders
If there is reason to believe water in our public water system may have been exposed to contaminants, you will be notified by the City of Kalamazoo or the Kalamazoo County Health & Community Services Department. In this case, a Boil Water Advisory or Boil Water Order may be issued. Advisories and Orders will be widely publicized on local media as well as the City website and social media accounts.
Boil Water Advisories indicate that drinking water may be contaminated. Advisories are often issued in the event of a sudden loss of pressure, such as the result of a water main break, due to the possibility of contaminants entering into the water main while the repair is being completed. Water mains are thoroughly flushed, disinfected, and sampled after the completed repair before the advisory is lifted. During the advisory, affected customer should boil their water for at least one minute prior to drinking or ingestion.
Boil Water Orders are issued when water is contaminated. To protect themselves, affected must heat their water to a rolling boil for at least one minute prior to drinking or ingestion.
More information on Boil Water Advisories and Orders is available in this pdf FAQ (59 KB) .