1. Supply

Water is obtained from 105 production groundwater wells at 33 stations (Figure VIII-2). The wells are 100 to 350 feet deep in glacial drift, sand, and gravel aquifers that have high storage capacities. The maximum capacity of the system is about 70 million gallons per day (MGD). Figure VIII-1

Figure VIII-2

On an average day there is a usage of 21.5 MGD. The maximum usage was 41.2 MGD for 1995 and the minimum usage was 14 MGD for 1995.

There is no central treatment plant for Kalamazoo. Water is treated at each of the 33 stations. Hard water and iron are two problems with the city's water supply. Chlorine, phosphate, and fluoride are added to the water. The phosphate is added to combat the iron in the water supply. Chlorine is added to kill bacteria. Fluoride is added for dental hygiene purposes.

2. Distribution and Service Areas

There are seven pressure districts and 610 miles of mains in the water system (Figures VIII-3 and VIII-4). The service area is approximately 110 square miles. Several areas besides the city of Kalamazoo are served by the water district including a small part of Portage north of I-94, and parts of Pavilion, Kalamazoo, Richland, Comstock, Oshtemo, Cooper, and Texas Townships.

 3. Storage and Demand

Currently there are seven water storage tanks in the water district (Figures VIII-2 and VIII-4). Five of these tanks serve the City of Kalamazoo, although one of these five is located outside of the City limits. The tanks that serve the city have storage capacities of seven million gallons, 550,000 gallons, 350,000 gallons, one million gallons, and six million gallons for a total storage capacity of 14.9 million gallons. The two tanks that serve other parts of the water district have storage capacities of 1.5 million gallons each. Including the two tanks that do not serve the City of Kalamazoo, the storage capacity for the whole district is 17.9 million gallons. The stored water can be used when the pumping stations cannot supply the water that is demanded.

4. History of Water Usage

Up to 1975 there was rapid growth in the Kalamazoo area water system. This has slowed in more recent years. From 1925 to 1950 average daily water usage increased 118 percent. Average daily usage increased another 89 percent from 1950 to 1975. From 1975 to 1995, the increase has been 19 percent. While the more recent period is only 20 years long, compared to the other time periods being 25 years long, the increase in usage is still much smaller when the period is looked at by average growth per year. The average growth per year was only 0.95 percent for the 1975 to 1995 period while it was 4.72 percent during the 1925 to 1950 period and 3.56 percent during the 1950 to 1975 period. The maximum day usage has followed the same pattern of growth as average daily usage. From 1950 to 1975 maximum day usage increased 119 percent. From 1975 to 1995 maximum day usage only increased 3 percent.

Figure VIII-3

Figure VIII-4

Growth in the number of water mains in the Kalamazoo area has also declined in recent times. However, water mains are increasing more rapidly than the amount of water used. From 1975 to 1995 there was a 39 percent increase in the amount of water mains. Over the same period of time there was only a 19 percent increase in the average daily usage of water and 3 percent increase in the maximum day usage. One reason for water mains increasing faster than water usage is the trend towards lower density developments.

Table VIII-1History of Water Usage

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