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Kalamazoo opens its water facilities for Public Services Week

 a woman looks at a brochure while a geologist looks on, a family of five stands next to her at open house
Jessi Phillips
Geologist Jean Talanda, far right, stands behind her groundwater flow model at the Public Services Office open house Monday night. Kalamazoo resident Chun Yun, far left, said she attended in order to learn more about Kalamazoo water's supply.

Visitors can get a behind-the-scenes look at the city's sewage and water treatment systems.

Kalamazoo residents want clean and safe drinking water. But many don’t know how that water travels from the ground to their home faucets. The Public Services Department would like to change that.

This week, it’s opening the doors of several public works facilities. Staff will give tours and presentations about, the water supply, sewer treatment, and other parts of Kalamazoo’s infrastructure.

Joe Bonhomme oversees the city’s water department. He says the event shows the public where its water comes from and how to protect it.     

“Because we are a groundwater source, 100 percent, we want to protect our water, because it’s easier to stop the contamination than to try to remove it if it gets there,” said Bonhomme.

The week kicked off Monday night. Staff at the Public Services Office on Stockbridge Avenue gave presentations on groundwater flow, water pipes, and water contaminants.

Kalamazoo resident Chun Yan attended Monday’s open house. She said she wanted to learn more about where her drinking water comes from and what the city does to keep it clean.

“The important reason is that I’m concerned about water quality in Kalamazoo,” said Yan.

Geologist Jean Talanda was on hand Monday night at the Public Services Office. She used a small-scale model of a neighborhood to show how a contaminant makes its way from a city street to a water source.

“The reason we do these presentations is so everyone can see how complicated the structure system is for our drinking water supply,” she said. “And how many factors have to work together all the time, especially in drinking water, so we can have a clean, reliable water source.”

Public Services Week runs through Thursday evening.