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Environmental Health Division

GROUND WATER CONCERNS IN KALAMAZOO COUNTY

While groundwater is plentiful in Kalamazoo County, it is also very vulnerable to contamination from surface spills and leaks. Our actions can directly affect the quality of groundwater. Because groundwater is always moving, even if it is only inches per year, what leaks into the ground at one location could affect someone else's drinking water.

The most numerous identified sources of groundwater contamination in the county are Leaking Underground Storage Tanks and other industrial or commercial sites of point source contamination. Point source contamination refers to a known source or location of the contamination, such as a spill or leak.

Other contamination threats to our groundwater resource in Kalamazoo County are non-point sources. Non-point source contamination is caused by practices that lead to widespread contamination. It can be caused by numerous small sources of onsite sewage systems, agricultural run-off, road maintenance, and incorrect yard maintenance. Compared with point source contamination, non-point source contamination is diffuse and difficult to identify. Elevated nitrate concentrations are an unfortunate example of non-point source contamination in Kalamazoo County. All of our actions on the surface of the ground may impact groundwater. Learn to protect groundwater and prevent contamination of our drinking water source.

Many factors affect the quality of well water including depth of the well and proximity to surface water bodies. Water quality problems, such as hardness, arsenic, and high iron, are caused by naturally occurring substances. Point of use treatment can be used to minimize the concentration of these substances in household water supplies.

Partial Chemical and Arsenic Water Quality Information
The link below provides a search for well water quality test results. It allows you to locate reported water quality data in our database by searching specific addresses, a range of addresses, or a combination of township and section. The chemicals analyzed may include nitrate as nitrogen, nitrite as nitrogen, fluoride, chloride, hardness, sodium, iron, sulfate, and arsenic. These samples were collected for a variety of reasons, such as a property sale, new construction or routine monitoring. A partial chemistry analysis is a common water test to check basic groundwater quality. It includes compounds that may have a health risk at high levels (such as nitrate, nitrite and fluoride), and aesthetic compounds (such as iron and hardness). If you are interested in sampling your water, click here for a list of certified drinking water labs, or contact us for additional information.

In the event you need additional information about the results of your search or for other issues resulting from the usage of this search tool, please contact us.

Well Water Quality Search

Understanding Your Drinking Water Results

Common Colors, Odors, and Tastes in Well Water Fact Sheet

Sites of Concern
There are known sites in Kalamazoo County where groundwater is contaminated, or has the potential to become contaminated. Sources include leaking underground storage tanks, industrial and manufacturing operations, and other spills or leaks. These sites of known contamination (listed under Part 201 and 213 of Public Act 451 of 1994) are constantly being monitored by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), and clean up is ongoing. Kalamazoo County maintains a database of currently listed sites, locations with land use restrictions or where contamination has migrated offsite, and locations where drinking water monitoring is ongoing. Current lists of Leaking Underground Storage Tank sites and Part 201 sites can be searched on line. The link below provides an interactive map of the State of Michigan with the locations of these sites under Layers-Sites of Contamination. Each site has information available such as the address, contamination source, type of contaminants, or a hyperlink to additional information. The Environmental Health Division screens all drinking water well permit applications for proximity to known contamination sites in Kalamazoo County before issuing a permit. Alternative construction, additional sampling, or connection to a municipal supply may be required in these areas. Please feel free to contact us for additional information on this program.

Michigan Environmental Mapper

West KL Avenue Landfill Superfund Site Residential Water Well Sampling
Sampling of the water wells located near the former West KL Avenue Landfill is conducted periodically. These sample results can be viewed by clicking on the link below. This is a large pdf file and downloading times depend on your connection speed. The United States Environmental Protection Agency also maintains a website dedicated to this site that is updated periodically; a link to this page can be found below.

West KL Avenue Landfill Monitoring Results

West KL Avenue Landfill US EPA Superfund Website

Helpful Links
MDEQ Leaking Underground Storage Tank Database
MDEQ Part 201 Sites Information
Michigan Drinking Water Contamination Investigation Program
US Environmental Protection Agency Projects in Michigan Website




The Kalamazoo County Health and Community Services Department programs are open to all without regard to race, sex, color, national origin, religion, height, weight, marital status, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability.

Links to external sites do not constitute endorsements by Kalamazoo County.

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