Several Kalamazoo residents have recently reported poor-quality water in their apartments near Western Michigan University’s campus.
It is not abnormal for groundwater in Kalamazoo County to become compromised. According to the Kalamazoo County Government, the county’s water is particularly susceptible to spills and leaks.
“Because groundwater is always moving, even if it is only inches per year, what leaks into the ground at one location could affect someone else’s drinking water,” Kalamazoo County Government’s website states.
Reasons for concern in Kalamazoo include leaking underground storage tanks and industrial and manufacturing operations. According to the Kalamazoo County Government, a specific site that is often tested for contamination is the residential water wells near the former West KL Avenue landfill.
Residents of 58 West, a Kalamazoo county apartment complex, have had recent complaints about the color, texture and taste of their water.
“I noticed that the water wasn’t any good from the moment that I first moved to 58 West,” resident Da’Ja Smith said. “The water is always yellow.”
Smith said she received an email from 58 West management stating that the water was safe and clean. The email also stated that the reason for the off-color water was cleaning chemicals tinting the water.
“I still don’t trust that the water is clean,” Smith said.
58 West residents are not the only residents in Kalamazoo who seem to be experiencing poor-quality water.
“I live in Campus Court and the water seems to be gross on my hair,” resident Montana Hensel said. “It also tastes awful. Not like tap water, but like chemicals, even after going through our filtered pitcher so I always have to buy bottled.”
Tia Walton, another Campus Court resident, also said the water is damaging to her skin and hair. Kyle Wehrmeister, a resident at the Landing Apartments, also said the quality of his water is an issue for him.
“Since August I’ve lived where I’m at now and every once in awhile my water seems kind of rusty like a dirty color,” Werhmeister said. “We have a filter which helps, but it’s still gross to think of what’s in my drinking water.”
Not all Kalamazoo residents are affected by poor-quality water. Destiny Blossom, a 58 West resident, said she has not had any issues with the quality of her tap water since she moved to the complex in August 2017. Another Kalamazoo resident, Stefon Mallard, also has clean water.
“My water seems to be fine in the Landing Apartments,” Mallard said.
58 West’s management and corporate office were unable to comment on the issue at this time.