Oct 12, 2021

Uncertified Phosphoric Acid Used in Bay County, Michigan, Drinking Water

Bay City, Michigan’s, water system violated a drinking water standard after uncertified phosphoric acid was used for its water supply.

drinking water

A notice by the Bay Area Water System was recently sent to residents because Bay County, Michigan’s, water system violated a drinking water standard. 

According to the Bay County Department of Water & Sewer, this was not an emergency.

The Bay Area Water Treatment Plant received a lesser grade phosphoric acid from its chemical supplier, but it was not certified as an ANSI/NSF Standard 60 chemical, which is needed for water supply use. The uncertified product was introduced May 2021 and plant staff determined there was an issue Aug. 31, 2021. 

According to State of Michigan drinking water rules, all chemicals that may come in contact with water intended for use in a public water supply must meet American National Standards Institute/National Sanitation Foundation (ANSI/NSF) Standard 60. 

Phosphoric acid is fed into drinking water to reduce corrosion of lead and other metals in plumbing materials.  

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The Bay County Department of Water & Sewer notice said that this notice is required by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE), but that if it had been an emergency, people would have been notified within 24 hours. 

The uncertified product that was fed serves the same purpose as ANSI/NSF Standard 60 certified phosphoric acid, reported the notice. Water test results taken during the time the uncertified product was being fed confirmed the water was within normal drinking water standards, and test results are available at www.baycodws.org/water-testing/

EGLE directed staff to continue feeding the uncertified phosphoric acid and to replace it with an ANSI/NSF Standard 60 certified phosphoric acid as soon as possible, and the certified phosphoric acid was fed Sept. 1, 2021. 

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