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Campus tap water tested, safe to drink

Nov. 19, 2008

Nov. 19, 1:30 p.m.--The city of Kalamazoo has lifted the Nov. 18 boil-water advisory that has affected the Western Michigan University campus.

City water coming into campus has been tested and determined to be safe to use for drinking, cooking and all other normal uses. It is no longer necessary to boil water or use bottled water.

The city of Kalamazoo water system in the affected area was tested yesterday and again today. Specific locations will continue to be sampled, and as a precaution, WMU officials have asked that this sampling program continue to include campus locations.

As an additional precaution, WMU personnel began flushing pipes in buildings across campus at 5 a.m. today. Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to let faucets in their private residences and offices run for two minutes before consuming water from them.

Arrangements have been made for appropriate University personnel to begin removing water advisory signs from campus buildings as well as to reopen drinking fountains. Go to go to kalamazoocity.org for details about Kalamazoo's lifting of the boil-water advisory.

Previous Campus Alert updates

The following announcements, each of which is listed by date and time, document the sequence of updates during the Campus Alert Nov. 18-19, 2008, regarding Kalamazoo campus water quality. The instructions provided are no longer in effect. All restrictions on use of drinking fountains and tap water on campus have been lifted.

Nov. 19, 10 a.m.--The Kalamazoo campuses of Western Michigan University remain under an advisory not to consume water from campus drinking fountains and water taps until further notice. City water is deemed safe for bathing and for washing hands, dishes and clothes, but it is not recommended for brushing teeth or cooking.

Deliveries of bottled water have been made to all dining halls and campus student housing. Additional supplies are available for students, faculty and staff from the Campus Services Building, which is located on Oliver Street. As previously announced, faculty and staff needing large amounts of water may call (269) 387-8583.

With the unusually large volume of bottled water on campus, WMU Recycling Services is making a special appeal to everyone on campus to use appropriate recycling containers for empty water bottles.

As a result of the water main break and ensuing water advisory, 14 public and private schools in Kalamazoo are closed today, many restaurants in the affected area have reduced operations and thousands of area residents have been affected in an area constituting about one-third of the city of Kalamazoo and smaller portions of Oshtemo Township and Portage.

The area under the water advisory is bordered on the north by West Main Street, on the east by Westnedge Avenue, to the south by Kilgore Road and on the west by U.S. 131.

Updates on water quality are expected early this afternoon.

Nov. 18, 4:27 p.m.--The WMU community remains under an advisory not to consume water from campus drinking fountains and water taps until further notice. Deliveries of bottled water are in the process of being made to all student housing units. The deliveries should be completed within a couple of hours.

Tonight's men's basketball game between WMU and Detroit at 7:30 p.m. will take place as scheduled. Bottled water and other bottled beverages will be available for sale at all concession stands.

The city of Kalamazoo is working on fixing the water main problem that has affected campus. We expect to be able to update the campus community on the repairs by early Wednesday afternoon.

In the meantime, those on campus should continue using bottled water and avoid using vending machines that dispense ice, coffee or other consumable items made with city water. They also should check the City of Kalamazoo Web site for updates throughout the evening. Visit www.kalamazoocity.org and look for "City Alerts," which are posted on the bottom left-hand side of the page.

As previously announced, faculty and staff needing large amounts of water may call (269) 387-8583. This phone line, as well as the water pick-up station at the Campus Services Building, will remain open until 9 p.m. tonight and will reopen Wednesday, Nov.  19, at 7:30 a.m.

Nov. 18, 2:38 p.m.--A bulk pick-up point for bottled water has been established for faculty and staff to meet their work areas' needs for the remainder of the day. The pick-up point is the loading dock area of the Campus Services Building, which is located off Oliver Street. The pick-up point will be open until 9 p.m. tonight.

Faculty and staff who show their Bronco Card may sign in and pick up a maximum of one case of water for their departments. Students who visit the bulk pick-up point may obtain a maximum of two bottles of water if they show their Bronco Card.

Arrangements have been made to set up a phone line for faculty and staff who need access to larger amounts of water to carry out their on-campus duties. The number to call is (269) 387-8583. The phone line will be staffed until 9 p.m. tonight and will reopen Wednesday at 7:30 a.m.

Nov. 18, 1:39 p.m.--As of 12:45 p.m., the University had a plan in place to deliver bottled water to key student areas. The first priority is to get 5 gallon containers to all dining halls, the Sindecuse Health Center and Children's Place Learning Center.

Next, bottles will be delivered for students' personal use to all residence halls and WMU apartment complexes.

The third priority is to set up a bulk receiving area, where faculty and staff can pick up bottled water for their own use. Details will be reported as that process is finalized.

Nov. 18, 1:18 p.m.--The City of Kalamazoo has issued a boil-water advisory as a precautionary measure for the area bound by West Main Street (north), South Westnedge Avenue (east), Kilgore Road (south) and US-131 (west).

View City of Kalamazoo advisory

What does this mean?
Boil water at least 10 minutes before using it for cooking, drinking or brushing your teeth. Hot soapy water or bleach water can be used for dishwashing and surface cleaning. Water for showering and laundry does not need to be treated. More

Nov. 18, 12:42 p.m.--While people should not drink the water on the Kalamazoo campus, it is perfectly safe to wash hands and clothes in the water, as well as shower or bathe as usual.

The current situation is expected to last until at least noon Wednesday.

Nov. 18, 11:13 a.m.--The Kalamazoo campus community should not drink from campus drinking fountains and water taps until further notice.

A water main break in the city of Kalamazoo system resulted in citywide water pressure loss this morning. The break has been isolated and, while pressure has been partially restored and restrooms and other facilities are now usable, the water should not be consumed.

Public Safety has ordered all fountains to be bagged and 12,000 bottles of water are being brought in to campus residence halls, dining services and other key areas.

Keep checking the WMU home page for additional information as it becomes available.

Media contact: Cheryl Roland, (269) 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

WMU News
Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
(269) 387-8400