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Interviews with news makers and discussion of topics important to Southwest Michigan. Subscribe to the podcast through Apple itunes and Google. Segments of interview are heard in WestSouthwest Brief during Morning Edition and All Things Considered

WSW: Kalamazoo Public Services Director Says No Reason To Worry About City's Water

Kalamazoo City Hall - file photo by Sehvilla Mann, WMUK
Sehvilla Mann

The Director of the city of Kalamazoo’s Public Services Department says residents don’t need to worry about the safety of their water. 

Sue Foune says the city is getting more calls about water quality since news broke about the crisis in Flint. Foune says there are some differences in Flint and Kalamazoo. Kalamazoo gets its water from groundwater while Flint draws from surface water, in the case of water with elevated levels of lead it came from the Flint River.

There are some lead lines carrying water in Kalamazoo. Foune says those are replaced when there are street projects, a line break or if testing shows a higher level of lead in a water sample. She says Kalamazoo has always added corrosion control chemicals. The lack of those chemicals in Flint is believed to be one of the major reasons for the elevated levels of lead. 

Interview with Sue Foune - web version

The World Health Organization issued a report showing that Kalamazoo, and other cities had a higher level of lead in its drinking water. It was still below the federal levels that require action in the United States. But Foune says the results were skewed by where the samples were taken in the city.

Anyone who gets water from the city can get it tested for elevated levels of lead. Foune says that includes city residents, or anyone who gets water from the city of Kalamazoo.

Gordon Evans became WMUK's Content Director in 2019 after more than 20 years as an anchor, host and reporter. A 1990 graduate of Michigan State, he began work at WMUK in 1996.
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