Brownish Tap Water in the Kalamazoo Area? Here’s What’s Happening
Did you notice a weird color or change in water pressure in Kalamazoo over the weekend? You're not alone.
On Kalamazoo's Reddit page, at least four different threads were started all asking a similar question: what is going on with the water? The concerns were valid. After all, I think anyone would be concerned if their water was suddenly a brown or yellowish color.
One thread from u/juggbugg03 asked: water is dark yellow/brown? I saw another post in here about the water quality changing and I was just wondering if it was safe to shower/brush teeth in??
Another from u/ConnorSaber said: Is anyone else having low water pressure right now? I live around east main and gull road and my water pressure is low out of nowhere. Is the city doing some kind of maintenance?
In fact, the city was doing maintenance.
Spring Hydrant Flushing
According to Kalamazoocity.org, the Public Services Department began hydrant flushing on April 17th. That flushing is going to continue until April 29th. The flushing will take place usually at night between the hours of 10 pm and 6 am but, daytime flushing may be possible between 7 am and 3:30 pm when needed.
Why are the hydrants being flushed?
It has to do with a build-up of sediment. Kalamazoocity.org goes on to explain that,
Periodic flushing is necessary to get rid of deposits that form inside the water mains. Over time, sediment builds up on the inside of water distribution pipes, narrowing the path that water can flow through to individual homes and businesses. Flushing stirs up water in the mains and forces water and sediments out. By widening the path that water can flow through the mains, the flushing program will improve water flow, to better meet the needs of the community.
It's also a way to confirm that water is flowing correctly.
With the stirring of sediment, it is very likely that your water will appear cloudy or discolored. However, that does NOT mean the water is unsafe. Should you find your water to be discolored, simply run cold tap water until it is clear.
A map with approximate dates for flushing around the Kalamazoo area is also available here.
While we're near the end of this flushing period, should you have any maintenance projects that you feel might interfere with the city's hydrant flushing, contact them at 269-337-8000.
Otherwise, rest assured that your water is still safe and will hopefully be sediment-free very soon.