2021 Water Quality Report

Overview

Print Version of This Report

Attention

This report will not be mailed to you. If you want a paper copy, please call our 311 Customer Service at 311 or 616-456-3000.

A Glance into the 2021 Water Quality Report

We created a supplemental report to help you better understand the report information. This report highlights water treatment, test results, and infrastructure improvement projects for 2021.


Is my water safe?

Yes. The City of Grand Rapids meets or exceeds all of the requirements of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). We are pleased to present the 2021 Water Quality Report (Consumer Confidence Report) as required by the SDWA. This report is designed to provide details about where your water comes from, what it contains and how it compares to standards set by regulatory agencies. This report is a snapshot of last year's water quality. We are committed to providing you with information because we care about you and want you to be informed about the water you drink. 


Source Water Assessment

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) completed a Source Water Assessment for the City of Grand Rapids water supply in 2003. This report found that our water supply has a moderately high susceptibility to contaminants. Source water contamination is not likely to occur if potential contaminants are properly used and managed. The Grand Rapids Water Treatment Plant routinely and continuously monitors the water for a variety of chemicals to ensure safe drinking water. The Grand Rapids Water System continues to be involved in and supports watershed protection efforts. This report is available. For a copy, please call our Customer Service at 311 or 616.456.3000.

This report is available. For a copy, please call our Customer Service at 311 or 616.456.3000.


Where does my drinking water come from?

Lake Michigan, a surface water source, is the sole source of water treated for the Grand Rapids Water System.


Do I need to take special precautions?

Some people may be more vulnerable to contaminants in drinking water than the general population. Immuno-compromised persons such as persons with cancer undergoing chemotherapy, persons who have undergone organ transplants, people with HIV/AIDS or other immune system disorders, some elderly, and infants can be particularly at risk from infections. These people may seek advice about drinking water from their health care providers. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)/Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines on appropriate means to lessen the risk of infection by Cryptosporidium and other microbial contaminants are available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline 800.426.4791.


Why are there contaminants in my drinking water?

Drinking water, including bottled water, may reasonably be expected to contain at least small amounts of some contaminants. The presence of contaminants does not necessarily indicate that water poses a health risk. The sources of drinking water, both tap water and bottled water, include rivers, lakes, streams, ponds, reservoirs, springs, and wells. As water travels over the surface of the land or through the ground, it dissolves naturally occurring minerals and, in some cases, radioactive material, and can pick up substances resulting from the presence of animals or from human activity. Contaminants that may be present in source water include all of the following:

Microbial Contaminants

such as viruses and bacteria, which may come from sewage treatment plants, septic systems, agricultural livestock operations, and wildlife.

Inorganic Contaminants

such as salts and metals, which can be naturally occurring or result from urban storm water runoff, industrial or domestic wastewater discharges, oil and gas production, mining, or farming.

Pesticides and herbicides

which may come from a variety of sources such as agriculture, urban stormwater runoff, and residential uses.

Organic Chemical Contaminants

including synthetic and volatile organic chemicals, which are by-products of industrial processes and petroleum production, and can also come from gas stations, urban stormwater runoff, and septic systems.

Radioactive Contaminants

which can be naturally occurring or be the result of oil and gas production and mining activities.

To ensure that tap water is safe to drink, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) prescribes regulations that limit the amount of certain contaminants in water provided by public water supplies. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations establish limits for contaminants in bottled water which must provide the same protection for public health. More information about contaminants and potential health effects can be obtained by calling the United States EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline 800.426.4791.


Additional Information for Lead

If present, elevated levels of lead can cause serious health problems, especially for pregnant women and young children. Lead in drinking water is primarily from materials and components associated with service lines and home plumbing. The City of Grand Rapids is responsible for providing high quality drinking water but cannot control the variety of materials used in plumbing components. When your water has been sitting for several hours, you can minimize the potential for lead exposure by flushing your tap for 30 seconds to 2 minutes before using water for drinking or cooking. If you have a lead service line it is recommended that you run your water for at least 5 minutes to flush water from both your home plumbing and the lead service line. If you are concerned about lead in your water, you may wish to have your water tested.

Information on lead in drinking water, testing methods, and steps you can take to minimize exposure is available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791 or at http://www.epa.gov/safewater/lead.

Infants and children who drink water containing lead could experience delays in their physical or mental development. Children could show slight deficits in attention span and learning abilities. Adults who drink this water over many years could develop kidney problems or high blood pressure.

The City of Grand Rapids Water System has a total of 80,442 service lines. There are 23,548 known lead or presumed lead service lines. 


Water Quality Details

To ensure tap water is safe to drink, the EPA has regulations that limit the amount of contaminants in water provided by public water systems. The table below lists all of the drinking water contaminants that we detected during the calendar year of this report, unless otherwise noted. Although many more contaminants were tested, only those substances listed below were found in your water. All sources of drinking water contain some naturally occurring contaminants. At low levels, these substances are generally not harmful in our drinking water. Removing all contaminants would be extremely expensive and in most cases, would not provide increased protection of public health. A few naturally occurring minerals may actually improve the taste of drinking water and have nutritional value at low levels. The State allows us to monitor for certain contaminants less than once per year because the concentrations of these contaminants are not expected to vary significantly from year to year. All of the data is representative of the water quality, but some are more than one year old. In this table, you may find terms and abbreviations that might not be familiar to you. To help you better understand these terms, we have provided the definitions.

Important Drinking Water Definitions & Units

90th Percentile

The minimum level of contamination found in the highest 10 percent of samples collected.


AL (Action Level)

The concentration of a contaminant which, if exceeded, triggers treatment or other requirements which a water system must follow.


MCL (Maximum Contaminant Level)

The highest level of a contaminant that is allowed in drinking water. MCLs are set as close to the MCLGs as feasible using the best available treatment technology.


MCLG (Maximum Contaminant Level Goal)

The level of a contaminant in drinking water below which there is no known or expected risk to health. MCLGs allow for a margin of safety.


MNR

Monitored Not Regulated


MRDL (Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level)

The highest level of a disinfectant allowed in drinking water. There is convincing evidence that addition of a disinfectant is necessary or control of microbial contaminants.


MRDLG (Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level Goal)

The level of a drinking water disinfectant below which there is no known or expected risk to health. MRDLGs do not reflect the benefits of the use of disinfection to control microbial contaminants.


NTU (Nephelometric Turbidity Units)

Turbidity is a measure of the cloudiness of the water. We monitor it because it is a good indicator of the effectiveness of our filtration system.


NA

Not applicable


ND

Not Detected


NR

Monitoring not required, but recommended.


PPM (parts per million)

Number of milligrams of substance in one liter of water (mg/L)


PPB (parts per billion)

Number of micrograms of substance in one liter of water (μg/L)


PPT (parts per trillion)

Number of nanograms of substance in one liter of water (ng/L)


TT (Treatment Technique)

A required process intended to reduce the level of a contaminant in drinking water.


 
Contaminants
 
MCLG or MRDLG
 
MCL, TT, or MRDL
 
Detected in Your Water
Range  
Sample Date
 
Violation
 
Typical Source
Low High
Disinfectants & Disinfection By-Products
There is convincing evidence that addition of a disinfectant is necessary for control of microbial contaminants.

Chlorine [as Cl2]

(ppm)

 4 4 1.06 ND 1.59 2021 No Water additive used to control microbes

Haloacetic Acids Group

[HAA5] (ppb)

NA 60 32 11.2 39.9 2021 No By-product of drinking water chlorination

Total Trihalomethanes

[TTHMs] (ppb)

NA 80 61 28.6 85.1 2021 No By-product of drinking water chlorination
Inorganic Contaminants
 Barium (ppm) 2 2 0.019 NA NA 2018 No Discharge of drilling wastes; discharge from metal refineries; erosion of natural deposits
 Fluoride (ppm) 4 4 0.59 NA NA 2021 No Erosion of natural deposits; water additive that promotes strong teeth; discharge from fertilizer and aluminum factories
Sodium (ppm) NA NA 11 NA NA 2021 No Erosion of natural deposits
Unregulated Contaminants
Information collected through the monitoring of these contaminants/chemicals will help to ensure that future decisions on drinking water standards are based on sound science.
Brominated Haloacetic Acids Group [HAA6Br] (ppb) NA  MNR 11.6 6.08 17.63 2019 No By-product of drinking water
chlorination
Haloacetic Acids Group [HAA9] (ppb)   NA  MNR  41.47  19.22 77.73   2019

 

No  By-product of drinking water
chlorination

Manganese (ppb)

NA

 

 
 MNR

 

  .446

 

 ND 

 

 .446

 

  2019 No 

 

 
Naturally-occurring element; used in steel production, fertilizer, batteries and fireworks; essential nutrient
Microbiological Contaminants
Turbidity (NTU) NA 0.3 100% NA NA 2021 No Soil runoff
100% of the samples were below the TT value of 0.3. A value less than 95% constitutes a TT violation. The highest single measurement was 0.178. Any measurement in excess of 1 is a violation unless otherwise approved by the state.
Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) 

Contaminants

MCLG  
or  
MRDLG 

MCL,  
TT, or MRDL 

Detected In 
Your Water
Range
Sample Date

Sample Date 

Typical Source
Low High
Hexafluoropropylene oxide dimer acid [HFPO-DA] (ppt)  370 NA ND NA NA 2021 No Discharge and waste from industrial facilities utilizing the Gen X chemical process 
Discharge and waste from industrial facilities utilizing the Gen X chemical process   420 NA ND NA NA 2021  No Discharge and waste from industrial facilities; Stain-resistant treatments
Perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS) (ppt)   51 NA ND NA NA 2021 No Firefighting foam; Discharge and waste from industrial facilities 
Perfluorohexanoic acid (PFHxA) (ppt)   400,000 NA ND NA NA 2021 No Firefighting foam; Discharge and waste from industrial facilities 
Perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA) (ppt)   6 NA ND NA NA 2021 No Discharge and waste from industrial facilities; Breakdown of precursor compounds 
Perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) (ppt)  16 NA 2 NA NA 2021 No Firefighting foam; Discharge from electroplating facilities; Discharge and waste from industrial facilities
Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) (ppt)   8 NA ND NA NA 2021 No Discharge and waste from industrial facilities; Stain-resistant treatments 
Inorganic Contaminants 
 Contaminants  MCLG  AL  90th Percentile  Range  Sample Date  # Samples Exceeding AL

 Typical Source

 Low  High
Copper [action level at consumer taps] (ppm) 1.3 1.3 0 ND 0.1 2021 0 Corrosion of household plumbing systems; erosion of natural deposits
Lead [action level at consumer tabs] ppb 0 15 10 ND 41 2021 1

Lead services lines, corrosion of household plumbing including fittings and fixtures; erosion of natural deposits

These 2021 sample results are from 50 homes selected as high risk for lead and copper contamination.  
 
Contaminants
 
MCLG or MRDLG
 
MCL, TT, or MRDL
 
Detected in Your Water
Range  
Sample Date
 
Violation
 
Typical Source
Low High
Voluntary Monitoring
Information collected through the monitoring of these contaminants/chemicals will help to ensure that future decisions on drinking water standards are based on sound science.
Arsenic (ppb) 10 ND NA  NA 2021 No Erosion of natural deposits; runoff from orchards; runoff from glass and
electronics production wastes
Chromium-6 [hexavalent chromium] (ppb) NA  MNR ND NA NA 2021 NR Erosion of natural deposits; industrial contaminant
Cryptosporidium
0 TT ND NA NA 2021 NR Contaminated rivers & lakes
Giardia lamblia 0 TT ND NA NA 2021 NR Contaminated rivers & lakes
Mercury [inorganic] (ppb)  2 2 ND NA NA 2021 No Erosion of natural deposits; discharge from refineries and factories; runoff from landfills; runoff from cropland

Note: The data table contains the highest annual test results for all required and voluntary monitoring of regulated substances. The Grand Rapids Water System monitors many regulated and unregulated substances more frequently than required and, as a consequence, these results are included in the table. In addition to the test results listed in the table, we analyzed the water for 82 different contaminants/chemicals in 2021; none of which were found at detectable levels.


How can I get involved?

Call Customer Service at 311 or 616-456-3000.


Take a Lake Michigan Filtration Plant Tour!

Aerial photo of the City of Grand Rapids Lake Michigan Water Filtration Plant

We encourage you to tour our treatment plant located on Lake Michigan Drive between Holland and Grand Haven. You can take a walking tour of the facility to learn more about the people and processes that diligently safeguard your water supply. To schedule a tour, please call 311 or 616.456.3000.


Request More Information

For more information please contact:

City of Grand Rapids Customer Services
300 Monroe Ave NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Phone: 311 or 616-456-3000
Email: water@grcity.us

To obtain a copy of this assessment, please call City of Grand Rapids Customer Service at 311 or 616.456.3000.