Village of Bear Lake – Water System updates

A number of subscribers have been asking where to find up to date information on the daily work schedules for the Village of Bear Lake water system construction progress.

The Village web site has minimal information.



On Friday, June 8, asphalt grinding will start on the following streets listed below.

Virginia Street
Cody Street
Euclid Street
Locust Street

They will bury the pipe on Monday, June 11.  
Except work on the above streets for the next month.  No weekend work.
Sorry for any inconvenience.

As it has become increasingly difficult to navigate with multiple construction sites on multiple streets, Bear Lake News offered to publish a point of contact. We were told not to contact the Project Manager and directed to forward all questions to the Village President. No information is available for the Construction Site Manager.

However – the awarded contracts specify the hours a resident can be impeded from accessing or being able to leave their property.

On Saturday the following Notice was taped to the Bear Lake Post Office window. [Click on the image to view a full size version]

We do not know who posted this notice but on Thursday the revised State of Michigan Lead/Copper Rule went into effect.

Additional notices were apparently placed at the Bear Lake Post Office alerting property owners that workers may be asking to enter their property to assess plumbing and install water meters. No notice is currently available at but the Bid Packages are referenced there.

It is unclear if the Village now intends to take ownership of, and commence replacement of, older ‘lead’ [pronounced leed] lines – i.e the line from the mains water that enters a home or business – as part of the water system upgrade.

A review of the past lead/copper rule can be seen here.

In 2015 the Village had a 14.5 ppb lead assessment as part of the MDEQ mandatory water testing for a public supply. This was adjudged to be an averaging out of a high (24ppb) sample from 5 taken at Village homes. The cause was older lines and fittings.

Which explains why the current Notice is posted as the disturbance of lead in older lines and seals can occur during construction.

It is to be hoped that a more in depth notice, time table and contact numbers will be mailed to each Village property owner as many do not get their mail directly at the Post Office.

It should also be possible for Village water customers to request a lead testing kit if they are unsure of the condition of their lead lines, seals and domestic fittings.

Although the incident occurred in 2015, the Village is not required to test for lead again until this year [3 year cycle]

Problematic for older homes is the preferred sampling method which calls for running water to simulate ‘normal’ use before catching a sample.

Many people do not run their water for the recommended time first thing in the morning.

Now is the time to get your water tested and check all fixtures for the Safe Drinking Water Act ‘Lead Free’ label.

If you need to contact any Village official for information the following information is listed by Manistee County:

Village Offices:P.O. Box 175 Bear Lake, MI 49614
TELEPHONE 231-970-2066
Fax: 231-864-4300

Jeffrey Bair. President 231-970-2066

Cindi McPherson Clerk 231-970-2066

Sally King Treasurer 231-970-2066

Jacqueline Johnson Trustee 231-864-5030

Greg McPherson Trustee 231-970-2066

Ron Ronning Trustee 231-864-3656

[Note 2 Trustees were replaced mid term and their replacement’s contact information is not available for Andrea Ware or Marla Evans]

As previously noted the Village has not, to date, published an updated Water Ordinance. Bear Lake News has requested a current draft.