Is West Michigan Having Its Own Water Crisis?
There is something in Michigan's water. Within the last several months at least three Michigan communities have faced issues with water quality, most recently the City of Allegan and now the Village of Mendon.
On Tuesday, March 8 officials placed the entire Village of Mendon under a boil advisory. What caused the boil advisory is unknown to the public but Lynsie Crouch, village Treasurer and Clerk, says the village is under a boil advisory until further notice. Residents are advised to boil water for at least two minutes before drinking or cooking with it. Given Michigan's history with water contamination such as the disastrous Flint water crisis, it's no wonder residents are concerned.
Similarly, residents throughout the City of Allegan were recently notified that their drinking water did not meet treatment requirements. As an Allegan resident myself I was left wondering what that even means. The notice the city issued specially stated that boiling was unnecessary despite the treatment violation explaining, "We are required to maintain...parameters within state designated ranges. We did not maintain these parameters within the set ranges for more than nine days during the July through December 2021 monitoring period."
Again, what does that even mean? I felt like I was left with more questions than answers. The noticed followed up with, "This situation does not require that you take immediate action. If it had, you would have been notified immediately. This is a treatment violation, but it does not mean there is lead or copper in your drinking water." Then why are you telling me this concerning news in the first place? I'm still confused as to what happened and what that means for my safety.
Though there have been many recent developments in the case of the Flint water crisis including 8 former Michigan officials and former Michigan Governor Rick Snyder receiving criminal charges, the entire state of Michigan is still reeling from the mishandling of its water treatment-- and don't even get us started on the Nestle corporation!
Then Benton Harbor
In October of 2021 Benton Harbor experienced a water crisis similar to that of Flint's after dangerous amounts of lead were found in the city's drinking water. As of January 2022 the City of Benton Harbor was still providing free bottled water to its residents.
And Coldwater Too
In early 2022 residents in Coldwater complained of brown, dirty water coming out of their taps. Many residents said it's a regular occurrence and although some have speculated the water table is contaminated by industrial waste from former nearby paper mills, Coldwater officials say the water comes to the treatment plant clear.
Kalamazoo River Cleanup
Residents along the Kalamazoo River know the struggle for clean water all too well. Earlier this month the State of Michigan announced it was filing a lawsuit against the owners of the Morrow Dam for a 2019 spill that released nearly 370,000 cubic yards of sludge into the river. It is a well known fact the old paper mills along the river discharged hazardous polychlorinated biphenyl (PCBs) into the water making the Kalamazoo River an EPA superfund site. Though there are plans for extensive sediment removal and cleanup, we'll never get to take full advantage of the river like we should, which includes eating the fish you catch in the river-- do not do it!
Have you experienced any issues with water quality in your household?