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Is Ann Arbor Tap Water Safe to Drink?

Yes! Generally Safe to Drink*

LAST UPDATED: 7:47 pm, August 13, 2022

Table of Contents

Can You Drink Tap Water in Ann Arbor?

Yes, Ann Arbor's tap water is generally considered safe to drink as Ann Arbor has no active health based violations of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) that we are aware of. Other factors such as lead piping in a home, or low levels of pollutants on immunocompromised individuals, should also be considered, however. To find more recent info we might have, you can check out our boil water notice page or the city's water provider website.

According the EPA’s ECHO database, from April 30, 2019 to June 30, 2022, Ann Arbor's water utility, Ann Arbor, had 0 violations of the Safe Drinking Water Act. For more details on the violations, please see our violation history section below. The last violation for Ann Arbor was resolved on Nov. 30, 2016. This assessment is based on the Ann Arbor water system, other water systems in the city may have different results.

While tap water that meets the EPA health guidelines generally won’t make you sick to your stomach, it can still contain regulated and unregulated contaminants present in trace amounts that could potentially cause health issues over the long-run. These trace contaminants may also impact immunocompromised and vulnerable individuals.

The EPA is reviewing if it’s current regulations around pollutant levels in tap water are strict enough, and the health dangers posed by unregulated pollutants, like PFAS.

Water Quality Report for Ann Arbor Tap Water

The most recent publicly available numbers for measured contaminant levels in Ann Arbor tap water are in its 2020 Water Quality Report. As you can see, there are levels which the EPA considers to be acceptable, but being below the maximum allowable level doesn’t necessarily mean the water is healthy.

Lead in tap water, for example, is currently allowed at up to 15ppb by the EPA, but it has set the ideal goal for lead at zero. This highlights how meeting EPA standards doesn’t necessarily mean local tap water is healthy.

EPA regulations continue to change as it evaluates the long term impacts of chemicals and updates drinking water acceptable levels. The rules around arsenic, as well as, lead and copper are currently being re-evaluated.

There are also a number of "emerging" contaminants that are not currently. For example, PFAS (Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances), for which the EPA has issued a health advisory. PFAS are called "forever chemicals" since they tend not to break down in the environment or the human body and can accumulate over time.

We recommend looking at the contaminants present in Ann Arbor's water quality reports, or getting your home's tap water tested to see if you should be filtering your water.

Ann Arbor Tap Water Safe Drinking Water Act Violation History - Prior 10 Years

Below is a ten year history of violations for the water system named Ann Arbor for Ann Arbor in Michigan. For more details please see the "What do these Violations Mean?" section below.

From Nov. 1, 2016 to Nov. 30, 2016, Ann Arbor had 1 non-health based Safe Drinking Water Act violation with the violation category being Monitoring and Reporting, more specifically, the violation code was Monitoring, Source Water (LT2) which falls into the Microbials rule code group, and the Surface Water Treatment Rules rule code family for the following contaminant code: Cryptosporidium.

Is there Lead in Ann Arbor Water?

Based on the EPA’s ECHO Database, 90% of the samples taken from the Ann Arbor water system, Ann Arbor, between sample start date and sample end date, were at or below, 0.001 mg/L of lead in Ann Arbor water. This is 6.7% of the 0.015 mg/L action level. This means 10% of the samples taken from Ann Arbor contained more lead.

While Ann Arbor water testing may have found 0.001 mg/L of lead in its water, that does not mean your water source has the same amount. The amount of lead in water in a city can vary greatly from neighborhood to neighborhood, or even building to building. Many buildings, particularly older ones, have lead pipes or service lines which can be a source of contamination. To find out if your home has lead, we recommend getting you water tested.

No amount of lead in water is healthy, only less dangerous. As lead accumulates in our bodies over time, even exposure to relatively small amounts can have negative health effects. For more information, please check out our Lead FAQ page.

Are there PFAS in Ann Arbor Tap Water?

Currently, testing tap water for PFAS isn’t mandated on a national level. We do have a list of military bases where there have been suspected or confirmed leaks. There appears to be at least one military base - Jackson Readiness Center - near Ann Arbor with suspected leaks.

With many potential sources of PFAS in tap water across the US, the best information we currently have about which cities have PFAS in their water is this ewg map, which you can check to see if Ann Arbor has been evaluated for yet.

Our stance is better safe than sorry, and that it makes sense to try to purify the tap water just in case.

Ann Arbor SDWA Violation History Table - Prior 10 Years

Compliance Period Status Health-Based? Category Code Code Rule Code Contaminant Code Rule Group Code Rule Family Code
11/01/2016 - 11/30/2016 Resolved No Monitoring and Reporting (MR) Monitoring, Source Water (LT2) (32) Long Term 2 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule (123) Cryptosporidium (3015) Microbials (100) Surface Water Treatment Rules (120)

What do these Violations Mean?

Safe Drinking Water Act Violations categories split into two groups, health based, and non-health based. Generally, health based violations are more serious, though non-health based violations can also be cause for concern.

Health Based Violations

  1. Maximum contaminant levels (MCLs) - maximum allowed contaminant level was exceeded.
  2. Maximum residual disinfectant levels (MRDLs) - maximum allowed disinfectant level was exceeded.
  3. Other violations (Other) - the exact required process to reduce the amounts of contaminants in drinking water was not followed.

Non-Health Based Violations

  1. Monitoring and reporting violations (MR, MON) - failure to conduct the required regular monitoring of drinking water quality, and/or to submit monitoring results on time.
  2. Public notice violations (Other) - failure to immediately alert consumers if there is a serious problem with their drinking water that may pose a risk to public health.
  3. Other violations (Other) - miscellaneous violations, such as failure to issue annual consumer confidence reports or maintain required records.

SDWA Table Key

Field Description
Compliance Period Dates of the compliance period.
Status Current status of the violation.
  • Resolved - The violation has at least one resolving enforcement action. In SDWIS, this indicates that either the system has returned to compliance from the violation, the rule that was violated was no longer applicable, or no further action was needed.
  • Archived - The violation is not Resolved, but is more than five years past its compliance period end date. In keeping with the Enforcement Response Policy, the violation no longer contributes to the public water system's overall compliance status. Unresolved violations are also marked as Archived when a system ceases operations (becomes inactive).
  • Addressed - The violation is not Resolved or Archived, and is addressed by one or more formal enforcement actions.
  • Unaddressed - The violation is not Resolved or Archived, and has not been addressed by formal enforcement.
show details
Health-Based? Whether the violation is health based.
Category Code
The category of violation that is reported.
  • TT - Treatment Technique Violation
  • MRDL - Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level
  • Other - Other Violation
  • MCL - Maximum Contaminant Level Violation
  • MR - Monitoring and Reporting
  • MON - Monitoring Violation
  • RPT - Reporting Violation
show details
Code A full description of violation codes can be accessed in the SDWA_REF_CODE_VALUES (CSV) table.
Contaminant Code A code value that represents a contaminant for which a public water system has incurred a violation of a primary drinking water regulation.
Rule Code Code for a National Drinking Water rule.
  • 110 - Total Coliform Rule
  • 121 - Surface Water Treatment Rule
  • 122 - Long Term 1 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule
  • 123 - Long Term 2 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule
  • 130 - Filter Backwash Rule
  • 140 - Ground Water Rule
  • 210 - Stage 1 Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts Rule
  • 220 - Stage 2 Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts Rule
  • 230 - Total Trihalomethanes
  • 310 - Volatile Organic Chemicals
  • 331 - Nitrates
  • 332 - Arsenic
  • 333 - Inorganic Chemicals
  • 320 - Synthetic Organic Chemicals
  • 340 - Radionuclides
  • 350 - Lead and Copper Rule
  • 410 - Public Notice Rule
  • 420 - Consumer Confidence Rule
  • 430 - Miscellaneous
  • 500 - Not Regulated
  • 111 - Revised Total Coliform Rule
show details
Rule Group Code Code that uniquely identifies a rule group.
  • 120 - Surface Water Treatment Rules
  • 130 - Filter Backwash Rule
  • 140 - Groundwater Rule
  • 210 - Stage 1 Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts Rule
  • 220 - Stage 2 Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts Rule
  • 230 - Total Trihalomethanes
  • 310 - Volatile Organic Chemicals
  • 320 - Synthetic Organic Chemicals
  • 330 - Inorganic Chemicals
  • 340 - Radionuclides
  • 350 - Lead and Copper Rule
  • 400 - Other
  • 500 - Not Regulated
  • 110 - Total Coliform Rules
  • 410 - Public Notice Rule
  • 420 - Consumer Confidence Rule
  • 430 - Miscellaneous
show details
Rule Family Code Code for rule family.
  • 100 - Microbials
  • 200 - Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts Rule
  • 300 - Chemicals
  • 400 - Other
  • 500 - Not Regulated
show details

For more clarification please visit the EPA's data dictionary.

Ann Arbor Water - Frequently Asked Questions

Some people may be more vulnerable to contaminants in drinking water than the general population. Immuno-compro- mised persons such as persons with cancer undergoing chemotherapy, persons who have undergone organ transplants, people with HIV/AIDS or other immune system disorders, some elderly, and infants can be particularly at risk from infections. These people should seek advice about drinking water from their health care providers. EPA/CDC guidelines on appropriate means to lessen the risk of infection by Cryptosporidium and other microbial contaminants are available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline at: 800.426.4791.
To contact customer service for the Ann Arbor water provider, Ann Arbor, please use the information below.
MERRILL, MI, 48637
Already have an account?

Existing customers can login to their Ann Arbor account to pay their Ann Arbor water bill by clicking here.

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If you want to pay your Ann Arbor bill online and haven't made an account yet, you can create an account online. Please click here to create your account to pay your Ann Arbor water bill.

Want to pay without an account?

If you don't want to make an account, or can't remember your account, you can make a one-time payment towards your Ann Arbor water bill without creating an account using a one time payment portal with your account number and credit or debit card. Click here to make a one time payment.

Starting Your Service

Moving to a new house or apartment in Ann Arbor means you will often need to put the water in your name with Ann Arbor. In order to put the water in your name, please click the link to the start service form below. Start service requests for water bills typically take two business days.

Start Service Form

Want to create a new account?

Leaving your house or apartment in Ann Arbor means you will likely need to take your name off of the water bill with Ann Arbor. In order to take your name off the water bill, please click the link to the stop service form below. Stop service for water bills requests typically take two business days.

Stop Service Form

The estimated price of bottled water

$2 in USD (1.5-liter)


Ann Arbor tap water
  • Drinking Water Pollution and Inaccessibility 29% Low
  • Water Pollution 48% Moderate
  • Drinking Water Quality and Accessibility 71% High
  • Water Quality 52% Moderate

The above data is comprised of subjective, user submitted opinions about the water quality and pollution in Ann Arbor, measured on a scale from 0% (lowest) to 100% (highest).

Related FAQS

Ann Arbor Water Quality Report (Consumer Confidence Report)

The EPA mandates that towns and cities consistently monitor and test their tap water. They must report their findings in an annual Consumer Confidence Report. Below is the most recent water quality report from Ann Arbor's Water. If you would like to see the original version of the report, please click here.


2020 Water Quality Report


A Message to Our Customers, page 2 About This Report, page 3

Water Quality Data, page 4-5 Contaminants of Concern, page 6-7 Abbreviations and Definitions, page 7 Kids’ Activities, page 10


Quality Water Matters


Summarizing 2020 Water Quality Test Results

Protecting Safe Drinking Water:

Keeping Our Customers Informed

Dear Customers,

We, at the City of Ann Arbor Water Treatment Services Unit, are pleased to share with you our annual drinking water quality report. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Michigan Department of the Environment, Great

Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) require that all water suppliers produce an annual report that informs its customers about the quality of their drinking water. This report explains where your drinking water comes from, what is in it and how we keep it safe.

One cannot reflect on 2020 without recognizing the tragedy that our nation and the world faced associated with the global COVID-19 pandemic. I know that in one way or another this has touched each and every one of our customers, whether it was the loss of loved ones, shuttering of businesses and schools, inability to congregate with family, canceling travel, and of course the challenges associated with working and living in a world where the risk of exposure to a deadly and invisible virus threatens us every day. Can there be a bright side to such a tragic experience?

As we navigate 2021 and hopefully begin to return to what we remember as our pre-pandemic normal life, there will be scars from 2020 that we will carry for years to come. But, we have also demonstrated our resiliency and our ability to solve problems, work virtually, and continue to provide to the best of our ability essential services to our community. Vaccines were developed and distributed in record time, likely saving hundreds of thousands of lives. While this may be one of the most significant achievements of the past year, I expect we can each point toward our own individual hurdles that we have overcome. I would like to take this opportunity to share just a few accomplishments by those who operate and maintain your water system.

Under the direction of Glen Wiczorek, the city’s senior engineer responsible for managing capital infrastructure projects

for the water system, the city completed an ultraviolet light (UV) disinfection system (pictured on cover). This project will improve the city’s ability to remove microbial pathogens from its source water. By adding UV disinfection to the water plant’s suite of disinfection capabilities, this project adds an important tool to address known and potential future risks to the city’s water supply. With this additional treatment capability, Ann Arbor’s water system becomes one of the most advanced

.... 2020 Water Quality continued on page 8

Important Information for Businesses or Homes Temporarily Unoccupied due to COVID-19

The City of Ann Arbor uses chloramines to disinfect the water, which is a long lasting and effective disinfectant. However, when water sits stagnant in homes or buildings that are vacant or under occupied, water quality may become a concern. As homes and buildings are reoccupied, the city recommends the following best practices:


  1. Home flushing: Remove aerators from all faucets. Bypass heaters, softeners, filters or any other treatment devices if possible. Starting at the lowest faucet in the home, turn on all cold water taps, including tubs and showers. Leave all faucets on for at least 30 minutes. Turn off faucets in the same order in which they were turned on. Clean and re- install aerators.
  2. Hot water heaters and hot water plumbing: After home flushing is complete, flush the hot water heater. Flush the hot water heater by opening the drain valve and flushing via a hose to a floor drain or sink for 30 minutes.
    If the drain valve is not functional or if there is a concern about it not reclosing after it is opened, run hot water at the nearest fixture to the hot water heater for 30 minutes. After flushing the hot water heater, turn on all hot water taps for 10 minutes to flush hot water system plumbing.
  3. Other water collection sites: Before using, clean decorative water features, as well as ice makers, water coolers, and other appliances that store water with a bleach solution.


1. Building flushing: Run water at all points of use, starting from closest to the water meter and moving to the furthest point from the meter. Flush cold water first at all fixtures within the building and then hot water at all fixtures, until all pipes have fresh water and

.... 2020 COVID-19 continued on page 8

PAGE 2 | 2020 | City of Ann Arbor Water Quality Report | |


This report covers the drinking water quality for the City of Ann Arbor (Water Supply Serial Number 0220) for the

2020 calendar year. The State of Michigan and the U.S. EPA require us to test our water on a regular basis to ensure its safety. We met all the monitoring and reporting requirements for 2020. The information provided is a snapshot of the quality of the water we provided to you in 2020. Included are details about where your water comes from, what it contains, and how it compares to United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) and State standards. In order to ensure that tap water is safe to drink, EPA prescribes regulations which limit the amount of certain contaminants in water provided by public water systems. FDA regulations establish limits for contaminants in bottled water which must provide the same protection for public health. Drinking water, including bottled water, may reasonably be expected to contain at least small amounts of some contaminants. The presence of these contaminants in water does not necessarily indicate that water poses a health risk. More information about contaminants and potential health effects can be obtained by calling the EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 800.426.4791.

Contaminants that may be present in source water include:

  • Microbial contaminants such as viruses and bacteria, which may come from sewage treatment plants, septic systems, agricultural livestock operations, and wildlife
  • Inorganic contaminants such as salts and metals, which can be naturally occurring or result from urban storm water runoff, industrial or domestic wastewater discharges, oil and gas production, mining or farming
  • Pesticides and herbicides, which may come from a variety of sources such as agriculture, urban storm water runoff, and residential uses
  • Organic chemical contaminants, including synthetic and volatile organic chemicals, which are by-products of industrial processes and petroleum production, and can also come from gas stations, urban storm water runoff, and septic systems
  • Radioactive contaminants which can be naturally occurring or be the result of oil and gas production and mining activities

The sources of drinking water - both tap and bottled - include rivers, lakes, streams, ponds, reservoirs, springs, and wells. As water travels over the surface of the land or through the ground, it dissolves naturally occurring minerals and, in some cases, radioactive material, and can pick up substances resulting from the presence of animals or from human activity.

Source Water Assessment Program:

Federal regulations require states to develop and implement Source Water Assessment Programs (SWAP) to compile information about potential sources of contamination to their source water supplies. This information allows us to better protect our drinking water sources. In 2004, MDEQ performed a Source Water Assessment on the city’s system. To obtain a copy of the assessment, request one by calling 734.794.6320.

In 2017, the city completed a Surface Water Intake Protection Plan (SWIPP). Implementation of this plan continues through system-wide data collection and monitoring, community staff training, contingency planning, public outreach, and vegetation management. If you have further questions about the city’s SWIPP, please visit the city’s website at:

The City of Ann Arbor’s source water is comprised of both surface and ground water sources. About 85% of the water supply comes from the Huron River with the remaining 15% provided by multiple wells. The water from both sources is blended at the Water Treatment Plant.

PAGE 3 | 2020 | City of Ann Arbor Water Quality Report | |


The City of Ann Arbor is committed to providing exceptional water quality. We routinely monitor for contaminants in your drinking water according to federal and state standards. Many additional parameters were tested, but not detected, and are not included in this report. This report includes information on all regulated drinking water parameters detected during calendar year 2020. The state allows us to monitor for certain contaminants less than once per year because the concentrations of these contaminants are not expected to vary significantly from year to year. All the data is representative of the water quality, but some may be more than one year old. The tables below list all the drinking water contaminants that we detected during the 2020 calendar year. Unless otherwise noted, the data presented in these tables is from testing done Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, 2020.

Regulated Contaminants Detected (abbreviations and definitions on page 7)


Your Water Results

Regulatory Requirements





Parameter Detected

Highest Level






Typical Source of Contaminant






Results Range





















Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS)



Perfluorohexanoic acid



<2.0 – 7.2





Firefighting foam; discharge and waste from industrial facilities.

(PFHxA) (ppt)
















<2.0 – 3.1





Firefighting foam; discharge from electroplating facilities; discharge and




Acid (PFOS) (ppt)




waste from industrial facilities




















Disinfection Byproducts, Disinfectant Residuals, and Disinfection Byproduct Precursors











5.2 ppb 1

<1.0 – 5.8 ppb





Byproduct of ozone disinfection

Chloramines 3

2.5 ppm 1

1.0 – 3.4 ppm





Disinfectant added at Water Plant

Haloacetic Acids

7 ppb


2.8 – 9.5 ppb





Byproduct of drinking water disinfection

(HAA5) 2,3



Total Organic Carbon

58% removed 5

51 – 62% removed

TT: 25% minimum




Naturally present in the environment











Total Trihalomethanes

4 ppb


0.95 – 6.3 ppb





Byproduct of drinking water disinfection

(TTHM) 2,3







Radiochemical Contaminants (tested in 2020)



Gross Alpha

0.933 ± 0.47 pCi/L






Erosion of natural deposits

Radium 226 and 228

2.00 ±0.85 pCi/L






Erosion of natural deposits





Inorganic Contaminants





18 ppb






Erosion of natural deposits; Discharge of drilling wastes; Discharge








of metal refineries










0.76 ppm

0.32 – 0.76 ppm





Erosion of natural deposits; water additive which promotes


strong teeth; Discharge from fertilizer and aluminum factories










0.6 ppm

0.2 – 0.6 ppm





Runoff from fertilizer use; leaching from septic tanks and


sewage; Erosion of natural deposits










0.081 ppm

<0.025 – 0.081 ppm





Runoff from fertilizer use; leaching from septic tanks and















Microbiological Contaminants















0.23 NTU

100% of samples

•0.3 NTU

1 NTU and 95% of samples •0.3 NTU



Naturally present in the environment






2020 Lead and Copper Results from Customer Faucets















Copper 4

100 ppb


3.3 – 93 ppb







Corrosion of household plumbing systems; Erosion of natural


(90% of samples •

(0 out of 51 sites







this level)


above action level)









Lead 4

1 ppb


<1.0 – 23 ppb







Lead service lines; Corrosion of household plumbing


(90% of samples •

(1 out of 51 sites







this level)


above action level)







including fittings and fixtures; Erosion of natural deposits











ghest running annual average


2 highest locational running annual average


3 measured in the distribution system


1 highest running annual average


2 highest locational running annual average


3 measured in the distribution system

4 Lead and Copper are regulated by action levels 5 Average percent removal

PAGE 4 | 2020 | City of Ann Arbor Water Quality Report | |











2020 Special Monitoring










Parameter Detected

Your Water Results












Typical Source of Contaminant



















1,4-Dioxane (ppb)




Groundwater contamination from manufacturing process and landfills












Byproduct of disinfection


(NDMA) (ppb)








Perchlorate (ppb)




Nitrate fertilizer runoff; contamination from industrial manufacturing process


Sodium (ppm)




Erosion of natural deposits







Other Water Quality Parameters of Interest


Your Water Results












Alkalinity, total


40 – 122

(ppm as CaCO3)

Aluminum (ppm)



Ammonia as N


<0.10 –



Arsenic (ppb)



Calcium (ppm)


18 – 55



81 – 168


Chromium (total)






483 – 791


Hardness (CaCO3)


86 – 200


Hardness (CaCO3)






Iron (ppm)


<0.025 –




Lead (ppb)



(at Water Treatment

Plant tap)




Your Water Results












Magnesium (ppm)


5 – 19

Manganese (ppb)


<1.2 - 38

Mercury (ppb)





23 – 95

Hardness (ppm)

pH (S.U.)


8.9 – 9.5

Phosphorus, total




– 0.42

Potassium (ppm)



Sulfate (ppm)


36 – 65



5.9 – 30.1

(° Celsius)

Total solids (ppm)


272 – 442




Zinc (ppb)



Nitrite in



distribution (ppm)



Some people may be more vulnerable to contaminants in drinking water than the general population. Immuno-compro- mised persons such as persons with cancer undergoing chemotherapy, persons who have undergone organ transplants, people with HIV/AIDS or other immune system disorders, some elderly, and infants can be particularly at risk from infections. These people should seek advice about drinking water from their health care providers. EPA/CDC guidelines on appropriate means to lessen the risk of infection by Cryptosporidium and other microbial contaminants are available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline at: 800.426.4791.

PAGE 5 | 2020 | City of Ann Arbor Water Quality Report | |



Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), are a group of chemicals that have been classified by the EPA as an emerging contaminant. PFAS have been around since the 1950s, but we didn’t know much about their effects until the early 2000s, when scientists began releasing data on PFAS health impacts and their persistence in the environment. For decades, they have been used in many industrial applications and consumer products such as carpeting, waterproof clothing, upholstery, food paper wrappings, fire-fighting foams, and metal plating. They are still widely used today. PFAS have been found at low levels both in the environment and in blood samples of the general U.S. population. PFAS are persistent, which means they do not break down in the environment. They also bioaccumulate, meaning the amount builds up over time in the blood and organs.

Samples collected by the city and analyzed by an independent lab each month have shown PFAS in Ann Arbor drinking water at levels significantly below the Health Advisory Level established by EPA and below the Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs) that the State of Michigan adopted on Aug. 3, 2020. The city continues to monitor for PFAS compounds and remains committed to providing safe drinking water that complies with or is lower than regulatory guidelines.

Currently, granular activated carbon (GAC) filtration is the best available technology for removing PFAS in drinking water. Use of this technology has allowed the city to produce water with concentrations of PFOS and PFOA below the quantification limits and far below the city’s target of less than 10 parts per trillion, more restrictive than the most stringent water quality levels established in the U.S. or around the world. Additional information and PFAS results are online at


If present, elevated levels of lead can cause serious health problems, especially for pregnant women and young children. Lead in drinking water is primarily from materials and components associated with service lines and home plumbing. The City of Ann Arbor is responsible for providing high quality drinking water but cannot control the variety of materials used in plumbing components. When your water has been sitting for several hours, you can minimize the potential for lead exposure by flushing your tap for 30 seconds to 2 minutes before using water for drinking or cooking. If you are concerned about lead in your water, you may wish to have your water tested. Information on lead in drinking water, testing methods, and steps you can take to minimize exposure is available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 800.426.4791 or at

Infants and children who drink water containing lead could experience delays in their physical or mental development. Children could show slight deficits in attention span and learning abilities. Adults who drink this water over many years could develop kidney problems or high blood pressure.


Gelman Sciences (now Pall Corp., a division of Danaher Corp.) polluted groundwater in parts of Washtenaw County, including parts of the city as well as Ann Arbor and Scio Townships, when it improperly disposed of industrial solvents containing 1,4-dioxane between 1966 and 1986. That pollution has since spread through the aquifer. The city has been engaged with neighboring communities and the state to, among other things, push Gelman to delineate, contain and clean up its pollution. After three years, attempts at reaching a negotiated settlement that is agreeable to all parties were not successful. While there is still active litigation in Washtenaw County Circuit Court as part of a suit brought by the state against Gelman, Ann Arbor City Council has voted to seek EPA intervention in the clean-up. As of the writing of this update, EPA involvement has not yet been confirmed. Additional and current information on the status of the clean-up can be found at,4-Dioxane-Litigation. aspx. Information also is available on the EPA’s website at

Analytical test results for both the city’s source and finished drinking water can be found at www.QualityWaterMatters. org.

..................... see the next page for additional information.

PAGE 6 | 2020 | City of Ann Arbor Water Quality Report | |



Cryptosporidium is a microbial pathogen found in surface water throughout the United States. Although filtration removes Cryptosporidium, the most commonly used filtration methods cannot guarantee 100% removal. Our testing indicates the presence of these organisms in our source water, but not in the finished water. Current test methods do not allow us to determine if the detected organisms in our source water are capable of causing disease or if they are dead. Ingestion of Cryptosporidium may cause cryptosporidiosis, an abdominal infection. Most healthy individuals can overcome the disease within a few weeks. Immunocompromised people are at greater risk of developing severe illness and are encouraged to consult their doctor regarding appropriate precautions to take to prevent infection. Cryptosporidium must be ingested to cause disease and it may be spread through means other than drinking water. To address the occurrence of Cryptosporidium in the Huron River, the city added ultraviolet light (UV) disinfection to the water treatment process. This new technology was commissioned in summer 2020 and is the best available technology to inactivate Cryptosporidium.



AL-Action Level: The concentration of a contaminant, which if exceeded, triggers treatment or other requirements a water system must follow.

CaCO3: Calcium carbonate

GPG-Grains per Gallon: A unit of water hardness defined as 1 grain (64.8 milligrams) of calcium carbonated dissolved in one gallon of water.

MCL-Maximum Contaminant Level:

The highest level of a contaminant that is allowed in drinking water. MCLs are set as close to the MCLGs as feasible using the best available treatment technology.

MCLG-Maximum Contaminant Level Goal: The level of a contaminant in drinking water below which there is no known or expected risk to health. MCLGs allow for a margin of safety.

MRDL-Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level: The highest level of a disinfectant allowed in drinking water. There is convincing evidence that the addition of a disinfectant is necessary for control of microbial contaminants.

MRDLG-Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level Goal: The level of a drinking water disinfectant below which there is no known or expected risk to health. MRDLGs do not reflect the benefits of the use of disinfectants to control microbial contaminants.

N/A: Not applicable. When listed under the range column, N/A indicates that only a single sample was analyzed for the year.

NTU-Nephelometric Turbidity Units:

A measure of cloudiness in the water.

pCi/L: picocuries per liter (a measure of radioactivity).

ppm: parts per million or milligrams per liter.

ppb: parts per billion or micrograms per liter.

ppt: parts per trillion or nanograms per liter.

S.U.: Standard Units.

TT-Treatment Technique: A required process intended to reduce the level of a contaminant in drinking water.


We will update this report annually and will keep you informed of any problems that may occur throughout the year, as they happen. Copies are available at our website

The city offers multiple ways to stay informed about what is in your drinking water and how the city keeps it safe. Check out the below information resources at

*Sign up for Quality Water Matters

email notifications

*Watch the Water Treatment Plant video

*Request a virtual Water Treatment Plant tour

*Email or call 734.794.6426 with

your water questions.

Printed copies of this report are available. Please

share this report with all people who drink this water,

especially those who may not have received this notice directly (for example, people in apartments, nursing homes, schools and businesses). You can do this by posting this notice in a public place or distributing copies by hand and mail.

To receive a printed copy of this report please call 734.794.6320.

PAGE 7 | 2020 | City of Ann Arbor Water Quality Report | |

.... 2020 Water Quality continued from page 2

treatment plants in the State of Michigan and enhances the quality of already award-winning drinking water.

During the past two years, the city has continued to build on its Quality Water Matters program, which involved public outreach, a new logo and a monthly newsletter, all of which can be found online at Visit this website to subscribe to monthly newsletter email notifications. The success of this program has exceeded our expectations with nearly 8,500 subscribers.

In the coming year, we will continue to develop and share quality water messages, however, as we expand this program, we will be broadening the scope to talk about water in a different context. Historically, water quality issues have been addressed in their silos, separating drinking water from wastewater and storm water. Current practices indicate that the lines between these historic silos is less defined. The wastewater and storm water from one community may be the drinking water supply for another. As a result, we need

to be conscious of practices like source water protection, because trace contaminants in our waste streams can enter the environment and our water supply. We will continue this “One Water” discussion and campaign over the coming year in an effort to both educate and encourage our customers to take a fresh look at the Huron River watershed and protect it from contamination so it can continue to be a valuable drinking water, recreation, and environmental resource for the community.

Unfortunately, this last year has not allowed us to be open for tours and has limited our engagement with you. While a virtual tour of the water treatment plant will never replace the in-person experience, we have made this option available to groups until we can safely reopen. If you represent a community or school group and would like to have a water treatment staff member present to your group, please request a virtual tour online. We look forward for the opportunity to see you in person soon.

If you have questions about this report, or water quality in the City of Ann Arbor, please contact us at 734.794.6426, email or visit


Brian Steglitz

Brian Steglitz, PE, Manager of Water Treatment Services, F-1 Licensed Operator

.... COVID-19 continued from page 2

hot water reaches maximum temperature. At least half an hour at each point is recommended. The CDC suggests wearing a mask and gloves while flushing. Until buildings are fully occupied, weekly building flushing is recommended.

  1. Hot water heaters: Follow manufacturer's instructions on hot water heater maintenance after a period of disuse and ensure water heaters are set to 120°F or higher.
  2. Other water collection sites: Before using,
    clean decorative water features, as well as ice makers, water coolers, and other appliances that store water, with a bleach solution. Filters in drinking fountains or other devices may need to be replaced.

For more guidance, information is available via the State of Michigan, the Environmental Protection Agency or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

PAGE 8 | 2020 | City of Ann Arbor Water Quality Report | |

Water Meter and Galvanized Line

Replacement Updates

Currently, the City of Ann Arbor has two important water upgrade projects in the works: water meter replacements and water line inspection to ensure compliance with the State of Michigan's updated Lead and Copper rule.

Michigan’s updated Lead and Copper Rule requires communities to locate galvanized iron service lines previously connected to lead and plan for their replacement. Galvanized iron pipes can collect lead and when disturbed, such as when utility or road work is performed, cause a release of lead into drinking water.

Currently, the City of Ann Arbor Public Works Unit is in the process of completing a materials inventory of the public and privately owned portions of water service lines. The city has historic data on the publicly owned portion and is now in the process of gathering data on the privately owned portion of the service lines.

Online Inventory Map

A map is available for the public to view the materials inventory information. As service line material is verified, the map will be updated to reflect current data. The map also reflects those lines that have been determined to be eligible for replacement. Once materials are verified, the city will know exactly how many lines it needs to replace. Residents who have service lines eligible for replacement will receive a letter in the mail.

Tips to Reduce Potential Lead Exposure

It’s important to note that even if your service line is copper or plastic, there could be other sources of lead in your household plumbing. The City of Ann Arbor offers one free lead test per household. If you are interested, please visit leadsample or contact the Water Treatment Plant at 734.994.2840 to arrange pick-up of a testing kit. Other useful information resources include:

Meter Replacement Project

While the COVID-19 pandemic has created hurdles to protect staff and the public, this effort must continue as it is vital to ensuring the ability to deliver safe drinking water to our customers. The city knows the trepidation some might feel letting contractors into your place of business or residence.

The contractor for this project, UMS, is taking precautions to keep you, your employees and family members safe by following strict COVID-19 safety procedures.

If you’re eligible for a free service line replacement, the city will send you a letter. If you don’t get a letter, your service line is not galvanized and your line is not eligible for replacement (that is good news for you). You can view your material type by using the Service Line Map found at















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Our 2019 CCR was missing the number of lead service lines, number of service lines of unknown material, and the total number of service lines. That information is included above.

If you would like a copy of the full 2019 CCR, please contact us at 734.794.6426 or The city did not historically keep records of privately owned service lines and is in the process of collecting that data now to update the service line inventory.

These steps include:

  • Physical distancing
  • Face coverings
  • Use of gloves
  • Routine cleaning and disinfecting of equipment
  • Daily temperature checks and screening

We understand that some may still feel uncomfortable scheduling an appointment at this time. If so, please contact UMS, using the contact information in the letter you receive, to request temporarily delaying the installation. For details on the project, including an informational video, please visit www.

PAGE 9 | 2020 | City of Ann Arbor Water Quality Report | |


The front side of this water tank is transparent. Where will the water pour out if poured through hole 1? 2? 3? 4? 5?

correct? all them get you Did

.Congrats 17!-5 and 6-ANSWER:416;-3 13;-2 7;-1

PAGE 10 | 2020 | City of Ann Arbor Water Quality Report | |


Ann Arbor

EWG's drinking water quality report shows results of tests conducted by the water utility and provided to the Environmental Working Group by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, as well as information from the U.S. EPA Enforcement and Compliance History database (ECHO). For the latest quarter assessed by the U.S. EPA (January 2019 - March 2019), tap water provided by this water utility was in compliance with federal health-based drinking water standards.

Utility details

  • Serves: 114000
  • Data available: 2012-2017
  • Data Source: Surface water
  • Total: 10

Contaminants That Exceed Guidelines

  • Chromium (hexavalent)
  • Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS)
  • Radium%2C combined (-226 & -228)
  • Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs)

Other Detected Contaminants

  • Chlorate
  • Chlorodifluoromethane
  • Haloacetic acids (HAA5)
  • Molybdenum
  • Strontium
  • Vanadium


Always take extra precautions, the water may be safe to drink when it leaves the sewage treatment plant but it may pick up pollutants during its way to your tap. We advise that you ask locals or hotel staff about the water quality. Also, note that different cities have different water mineral contents.

Sources and Resources


A recent article in the Daily Telegraph highlighted the problem of tap water contamination in Michigan with a series of examples that included the following:

The problem with drinking contaminated water is that it can be very harmful for you, your family and even your pets. It is true that tap water is usually safe, but there are some things that should never be consumed or taken into the body. This is especially true if the source of the water is not certified as clean or pure.

The thing about tap water is that it does not always contain the same concentration of chemicals and contaminants that other bottled water has. And even though the bottled water industry would prefer people do not drink the water itself, there are still certain things that they would like us to do.

In the case of tap water, it is best that you stay away from bottles of bottled water, because they are not even certified as safe for consumption. If you have them, th

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