The Kalamazoo River Watershed

About Our Water

What is a Watershed?

A watershed is an area where all water drains into the same surface source based on topography and elevation. In our case, it is the Kalamazoo River. The Kalamazoo River Watershed covers an area of 2020 square miles with many tributaries draining into the Kalamazoo River from overland or from the ground.


Why do we need a healthy watershed?

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, more than $450 billion in foods, fiber, manufactured goods, and tourism depend on healthy watersheds.

Where does your water come from?

The City of Battle Creek obtains all drinking water from groundwater. This groundwater is derived from a sandstone aquifer known as the Marshall Foundation, and is present at the Verona Well Field (VWF). The City is a groundwater-based public water supply and relies entirely on groundwater for residential, commercial, and industrial water supply needs. The City’s water system provides water to the City of Battle Creek, City of Springfield, portions of Bedford, Emmett, Pennfield, and Leroy Townships.

Some residents may get their water from a personal well on their property instead of City water. These residents can find helpful information regarding well testing at the Calhoun County Health Department website.


Surface Water vs. Groundwater

Surface Water

  • Rain water and runoff that accumulates in lakes, rivers, streams, and wetlands on the earth’s surface
  • Surface water can also come from groundwater.
  • Surface waters provide natural habitat for wildlife.
  • Serve as recreational space for the people of our community
  • Surface water is interconnected with groundwater (our source of drinking water!)


  • Water that collects underground, filling cracks and spaces in layers of sand, gravel, and rock
  • Layers of earth that hold enough groundwater to supply a well are referred to as “aquifers”
  • Rain and snow runoff recharge the groundwater supply
  • Pollutants can sometimes seep into the groundwater, making it unsafe to use
  • Groundwater makes up nearly 50% of the drinking water in the State of Michigan
  • Groundwater is used to irrigate crops and for a variety of industrial and business purposes



Questions or comments about this web site, general comments or questions, or to report polluting activities:

Battle Creek
Department of Public Works


All messages sent to us by e-mail will be read by Battle Creek Department of Public Works personnel, who will forward it to the proper person or organization.

The Battle Creek Area Clean Water Partnership is the City of Battle Creek; the City of Springfield; the Calhoun County Water Resources Commissioner; the Calhoun County Road Department, the townships of Bedford, Emmett, Leroy, Newton, and Pennfield, the Hart-Dole-Inouye Federal Center, and Battle Creek Area Schools joining together with the common goal of protecting the waterways in our area.

Battle Creek Area Clean Water Partnership — Battle Creek Department of Public Works