Battle Creek to test sites after manganese discovery

The water samples will then be delivered by city employees to a lab in Holland for expedited testing.

Thursday, Battle Creek officials announced the water-drinking advisory for babies up to 12 months old after tests of one hydrant in Battle Creek and one in Springfield yielded some manganese.

The  federal health advisory limit for babies is less than .3 parts per  million of manganese for short-term exposure of less than 10 days. The  advisory was put in place because .68 ppm was found in the Springfield  test and .98 ppm was found in the Battle Creek test.

The limit for  people over the age of 1 is 1 ppm, so the water is safe for everyone  else to consume. Water should not be boiled because it increases the  manganese content.

Battle Creek is giving out free water to families with babies under the age of 1 at a rate of one case per day. Locations include:

  • Battle Creek City Hall at 10 N. Division St. from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
  • Battle Creek Department of Public Works at 150 S. Kendall St. from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.
  • Battle Creek Police Department at 20 N. Division St. from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. all week. 
  • City of Springfield City Hall at 36 Court St. from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and all next week.
  • 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. all week at Battle Creek fire stations 1-6: 
    • Fire Station 1 at 195 E. Michigan Ave.
    • Fire Station 2 at 145 N. Washington Ave.
    • Fire Station 3 at 222 Cliff St.
    • Fire Station 4 at 8 S. 20th St.
    • Fire Station 5 at 1170 W. Michigan Ave.
    • Fire Station 6 at 2401 Capital Ave. SW.

Battle Creek officials said in Friday’s release that water is also available at the following locations:

  • For Springfield families: Springfield City Hall; 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and
  • Emmett Township: Emmett Township Department of Public Safety; 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Pennfield Township: Pennfield Township Fire Department (no times provided)

The DEQ says manganese can turn water black and leave a bitter taste  in the mouth, so officials would have expected to already have gotten  complaints if the problem was widespread. If residents notice darker  water or a bitter taste, they should notify the city.

Anyone with  questions can call the county health department at 269.969.6852 or MDHHS  at 1.800.648.6942 during regular business hours. The city also has a  hotline set up at 269.966.3111 that will be staffed from 7:30 a.m. to 4  p.m. Monday through Friday.

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