MSUToday
Published: Aug. 5, 2016

Boil water notice: Some campus buildings affected

Contact(s): Kent Cassella Asst. VP of Communications cell: (517) 599-8537 Kent.Cassella@cabs.msu.edu, Michelle Lavra College of Agriculture and Natural Resources office: (517) 432-1555, ext 151 lavra@msu.edu

Aug. 7, 2016

UPDATE:The East Lansing Meridian Water and Sewer Authority, in consultation with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, has lifted the Boil Water Advisory. East Lansing and Meridian Township residents and businesses can resume the use of tap water for all purposes. Read more>>

Aug. 5, 2016

East Lansing and Meridian Township have advised all residents and businesses to boil water before using because of high turbidity levels. Due to their location and water source, the only MSU campus buildings included in the alert are: Brody Complex, Central School, Child Development Center, Community Music School, Kellogg Center, University Village and 1855 Place. Drinking water is being supplied in the affected MSU buildings.

If you live or work in the affected areas: Bring tap water to a rolling boil, boil for one minute and cool before using, or use bottled water. Boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, making ice, washing dishes, brushing teeth and preparing food until further notice.

What Happened?

Water is routinely monitored for turbidity (cloudiness) to determine if it is being properly filtered. Water samples taken on Aug. 5 had turbidity levels of up to 4.6 NTU turbidity units. This is above the allowable standard of 1.0 NTU turbidity units. Because of the elevated turbidity, there is an increased chance that drinking water may contain harmful microbes.

Turbidity alone has no health effects, but it can interfere with disinfection, allow harmful microbes to grow and may indicate the presence of harmful microbes, including bacteria, viruses and parasites. These can cause diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches or other symptoms and may pose a special health risk for infants, some elderly and people with severely compromised immune systems. However, these symptoms are not only caused by microbes in drinking water. If residents experience any of these symptoms and they persist, they should seek medical advice.

What is being done?

The elevated turbidity levels were caused by an upset in the performance of filters at the East Lansing – Meridian Water Treatment Plant.

As of 10 a.m. on Aug. 5, filter performance has been restored and turbidity levels at the plant are returning to normal. Water samples are being taken throughout the City and Township to determine if any microbial contamination has occurred, but results of those samples will not be available for at least 24 hours.

It is likely that residents will need to boil water for the next 24 to 48 hours until the problem is fixed. The public will be informed when tests show that residents no longer need to boil water.

For more information, please contact:

Clyde Dugan
East Lansing Meridian Water and Water and Sewer Authority
(517) 337-7535
cdugan.elmwsa@att.net

Amy Lachance
Michigan Department of Environmental Quality Lansing Office
(616) 490 9590

Bethel Skinker
Michigan Department of Environmental Quality Lansing Office
(517) 290-0686

Please share this information with other people who drink this water, especially anyone who may not get this notice directly (for example, people in apartments, nursing homes, schools and businesses).