Kalamaoo County

Environmental Health


Lake and Stream Water Monitoring Results
The following reports are summaries of water quality measurements and samples collected at sites located within the sub-watersheds of Kalamazoo County. These reports are updated quarterly. In the event you need additional information about these results, please contact the Surface Water Specialist.

Collection Sites for Comstock Creek

Comstock Creek Water Quality Data
COM-15South side of East 'H' Avenue, West of Mclinden Trails
COM-25South side of East Main Street, east of North 26th Street
COM-35East side of Worden Avenue, downstream of Cooper Park & Ponds

Understanding Lake and Stream Water Results

The Coliform Bacteria Interpretations (pdf) and Physical Parameter Interpretations (pdf) fact sheets are provided to help understand information about lake and stream water quality and to interpret lake and stream data. Please do not hesitate to contact the Environmental Health if you have any questions.

Bacteriological quality in surface waters can be determined through the presence and quantity of E. coli, a bacterial organism found naturally in most surface water systems and in the intestinal tract of all warm-blooded animals. Securing and analyzing only one sample does not present a true and representative evaluation of surface water quality and does not comply with methods of the State of Michigan's Water Quality Standards used for evaluating surface water quality. However, testing a single surface water sample can present some general information about water quality and E. coli bacteria at the specific sampling location. The data may be used to assess surface water quality, identify any problematic trends, and initiate appropriate actions to minimize the public's exposure to contaminated surface water.

Under Michigan Water Quality Standards, there is no numeric standard for a single sample result. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) uses the following criteria for bathing (full body contact) recreational waters. The numbers presented here are for informational purposes only.

Single Sample Maximum Allowable Densities
Designated bathing beach 235 colonies per 100 ml water
Moderate use for bathing 298 colonies per 100 ml water
Light use for bathing 409 colonies per 100 ml water
Infrequent use for bathing 575 colonies per 100 ml water

Based on a statistically sufficient number of samples (generally not less than 5 samples equally spaced over a 30-day period), the geometric mean should not exceed 126 colonies per 100 ml water. This information is documented in the Ambient Water Quality Criteria for Bacteria-1986; reference number EPA440/5-84-002.

Surface Water Testing Service
Environmental Health will provide surface water monitoring to interested parties (lake associations, land owners, environmental organizations, etc.). Surface water may include county drains, creeks, streams, rivers, storm water catch basins, ponds, or lakes. The service includes:

Environmental Health follows specific guidelines when conducting surface water testing sampling. Refer to Environmental Health fee schedule for current charges of surface water analysis and services.

Sampling by Riparian Land Owners
The Kalamazoo County Health & Community Services Department Laboratory will perform bacteriological analysis of surface water samples. Sample bottles can be obtained from the laboratory or Environmental Health office. Follow water sample collection procedures on the back of the request form. Consult with the Surface Water Specialist if you have any additional questions.