KLSWA Finds Local Area Drinking Water Safe & Clean After Recent Study Prompted By Flint Issues
“(Our recent study) came up with zero percent evidence of any lead and copper in our water system,” announced Saugatuck City Council Member Mark Bekken at Monday’s meeting about the local water supply system of the Kalamazoo Lake Sewer and Water Authority (KLSWA).
KLSWA is the local sewer and water treatment plant supplying the Tri-Community.
The announcement comes against the backdrop of what has become an international scandal: extremely high levels of lead in the water supply of the City of Flint resulting in the lead contamination of its residents and water supply.
Every two years The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality’s (DEQ) requires a lead and copper test to make sure water is not contaminated with those elements and it is safe to drink, said Bekken, who is also president of the KLSWA Board.
The board had asked KLSWA Manager Daryl VanDyke to provide a report regarding that study and the overall local water quality.
“He feels very confident that (lead-contaminated water) is not a problem here,” said Bekken.
VanDyke was unavailable Tuesday to discuss in more detail the matter with The Local Observer .
Douglas City Manager Bill LeFevere, at a recent Douglas City Council meeting, briefly made a public call on KLSWA to provide member municipalities with more detailed budget reports and overall more detailed information about processes and procedures relevant to the KLSWA operation.
Of particular concern for water quality experts in the Flint water crisis are the children that were exposed to toxic drinking water, saying the effects may well last long into the future, numerous reports indicate.
Flint’s woes started in 2014 when the State of Michigan—in charge of the city’s budget via an emergency financial manager— temporarily switched its water source from the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (sourced from Lake Huron) to the Flint River as a cost-saving measure.
Officials say the river was highly corrosive causing lead from aging pipes to leach into the water supply.
The numerous events this catastrophe has instigated includes:
* the filing of lawsuits against several government officials; * President Barack Obama declaring a federal state of emergency; * and the resignation and firing of a number of state officials, including former DEQ Director Dan Wyant.
More importantly, it has brought to the fore a problem that other municipalities face throughout the United States, highlighting the need to fix aging, inadequate and deteriorating infrastructures and ensuring people are getting water from clean, safe sources.
The suffering in Flint has prompted an outpouring of support and help from various state and national groups, including doctors, plumbers, social workers, and organizations donating money and supplying bottles of clean drinking water for the impacted residents.