Water & Wastewater

Water Division


The Water Division is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the city's water production and treatment facility at the Verona Well Field, as well as the city's water storage and pumping facilities and 368 miles of water main located throughout the Battle Creek area. We ensure that the community's drinking water is safe and meets all federal and state drinking water standards.

PPM


Related to water, we discuss many treatments, chemicals, and contamination in a measurement of "parts per million." Check out this TED-Ed video to understand what that means:

Battle Creek treatment technique violation

This does not create an immediate health or safety concern and you may continue to safely use the drinking water we provide. 

The City of Battle Creek recently received notice from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes & Energy about a violation of a treatment technique at our water plant, related to the addition of phosphate to the water. We are required to maintain a level of phosphate that is within designated state parameters. 

Phosphate provides corrosion control, helping keep lead and copper from our drinking water. 

What happened? What are we doing about it? 

Battle Creek failed to maintain water quality levels within the state-designated ranges at the treatment plant on 15 days between Jan. 1 and June 30, 2020.

This was a time during our rehabilitation project at the treatment plant, when a pipe supplying phosphate in the plant was damaged by construction activity. This damaged pipe led to a lower rate of phosphate being applied to the water. There were also two days during phasing of the rehabilitation project that phosphate was applied to the water at a reduced amount, while a portion of the treatment plant was out of service. The rehabilitation project at the treatment plant is now complete. 

There were two other instances when the phosphate dosing appears to have gone above the state-designated range. Our investigation has revealed that these readings were data-entry errors. The three different sample results on those days were not averaged prior to entering the data. The corrected levels are displayed in red in the Phosphate Excursions document below, and are within the defined range.

The events were investigated, identified, adjustments to the dosing rate have been made, standard operation procedures have been updated and treatment staff have been trained on the matter to prevent this from happening again. 

PFAS

Water from the Verona Pumping Station was sampled July 25, 2018, then tested for PFAS in the city water system. This is part of a Michigan Department of Environmental Quality statewide initiative to test drinking water from community water supplies, and schools that use well water.

PFAS are a group of manmade chemicals called per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances. They are found in firefighting foam, stain repellents, nonstick cookware, waterproof clothing, food wrappers, and other household products. They do not break down in the environment.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has set a lifetime health advisory level of 70 parts per trillion of two PFAS compounds. All tests for PFAS compounds in city water returned non-detect, meaning they were not found in city water at any level.

More information:

-Letter from MDEQ to City of Battle Creek (Sept. 6, 2018)

-PFAS testing results for Verona

-MDEQ website for PFAS response

A letter to our customers on lead and copper...

Water Division letter regarding lead and copper
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Fire Hydrants
We flush the city's fire hydrants every year, typically between Memorial Day and the Fourth of July. Our crews flush hydrants during overnight hours to minimize the inconvenience and allow the water to stabilize before daily use. Regular flushing allows for the highest water quality and for our staff to verify that the water system is operating properly. This also ensures the hydrants are ready when the Fire Department needs them. The 2015 program ended June 23; 2016 information will be posted as it becomes available.

Water System Information
If you would like to be emailed when notifications are posted, please sign up

Boil Water Advisory
Explanation of Boil Water Advisory (PDF), written by Utility Administrator Perry Hart.

Water Quality
For information about Battle Creek water quality, view at list of the Annual Water Quality Reports.

 Wastewater Division
The Wastewater Division is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the city's Wastewater Treatment Plant, as well as the 124 sanitary sewer lift stations and 414 miles of sanitary sewer mains located throughout the Battle Creek area. We ensure that the community's wastewater is cleaned and treated to meet all federal and state standards before it is discharged into the Kalamazoo River.