Uncertified chemical used in Bay County drinking water


BAY CITY, MI – The Bay County Water and Sewer Department recently sent out a notice to utility customers receiving water from their system regarding a drinking water standard violation.

According to the opinion, an uncertified chemical was used in the water treatment process. The notification was sent to customers in accordance with Michigan Department of the Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) requirements

In accordance with Michigan State Drinking Water Rules, all chemicals that may come in contact with water intended for use in a public water supply system must meet Standard 60 of the American National Standards Institute / National Sanitation Foundation (ANSI / NSF). An internal investigation determined that non-ANSI / NSF 60 compliant phosphoric acid was delivered to the water treatment plant and added to the water supply. Phosphoric acid is routinely introduced into drinking water as a means of reducing corrosion of lead and other metals in plumbing materials, according to the letter.

The Bay County Water and Sewer Department said this is not an emergency and the customer does not need to take action at this time as they are not no need to boil the water.

The results of water tests performed while the non-certified product was being fed confirms that the water was within normal drinking water standards. Test results are available at www.baycodws.org/water-testing/ and will be shared in the ministry’s 2021 water quality annual report.

According to the advisory, the Bay Area water treatment plant recently received a lower grade of phosphoric acid from its chemical supplier. Although it is the same chemical name, it has not been certified as an ANSI / NSF Standard 60 chemical, which is specific to the use of the water supply.

The uncertified product was first introduced in May 2021 and plant staff noted the deviation on August 31, with plant staff immediately informing EGLE of the situation. To minimize water quality interruptions, EGLE instructed staff to continue to feed the uncertified phosphoric acid and immediately replace it with phosphoric acid that is ANSI / NSF Standard 60 certified, the department said. ANSI / NSF Standard 60 certified phosphoric acid was purchased and was used from September 1.

The ministry said in the opinion that it has adopted protocols to verify that all chemicals used at the plant meet the requirements of the standard to prevent a similar situation from happening again in the future.

Those with questions are asked to contact the department at (989) 684-3883 or [email protected]

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