KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Kalamazoo City Commissioners settled on a plan to get safe water flowing to residents of Parchment and Cooper Township on Monday.
The city passed a resolution allowing Parchment and Cooper Township to use Kalamazoo water and said it is an interim step as Parchment officials figure out a long-term solution.
Parchment resident Tammy Cooper is ready to go back to the way things were.
She said, “We're just getting tired of using the bottled water. So hopefully this will move quickly.”
Cooper is one of thousands of Parchment and Cooper Township residents that will soon be able to tap into Kalamazoo's water system under an agreement passed by city commissioners.
City of Kalamazoo Deputy City Manager Jeff Chamberlain said, “This gives us time to move forward with providing that water and at the same time working the city of Parchment to figure out what the solution is.”
The new water supply agreement is good for the next year. The city of Parchment will pay for the cost of hooking up to Kalamazoo's water and will pay for the water it uses.
Kalamazoo city officials expect the cost for Parchment to be $212,000 for the year.
Chamberlain said, “They will bill everyone in Parchment according to their use. This will not affect any current customers, bills one way or the other.”
Crews have completely flushed and hooked up Parchment's water line to Kalamazoo.
Kalamazoo City Manager Jim Ritesma said, “In a process that would take three months to design and develop. They did it in over a weekend.”
The water will be safe to use after some tests are complete later this week.
Chamberlain said, “We just want to make sure as it's flowing into Parchment. It's reacting properly with the pipes and we have some ways to go, but we're getting close to the end.”
Residents in Parchment cope with what happened, but are hopeful things will get better.
Cooper said, “I hope everyone is taking time to come to terms with the change. We can't go back in time, but we can do whatever we can to move forward and make things better.”
The Kalamazoo City Public Services Director James Baker said they've attached backflow prevention devices on fire hydrants to prevent any backflow of Parchment water into the Kalamazoo system.