August 17, 2018, HOLL., Michigan – Holland Board of Public Works (HBPW) has released its PFAS testing results for both drinking water and the effluent water discharged from HBPW’s Water Reclamation Facility (WRF).

At the Holland Water Treatment Plant, HBPW tested for PFAS compounds in the water before and after treatment. Both samples came back as non-detect (<2 parts per trillion) for Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) and Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA).  The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) health advisory level for PFOA and PFOS is 70 parts per trillion (ppt).

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) is currently undertaking an effort to test all community water supplies in the state of Michigan. Their efforts to date have included most of the supplies in the counties surrounding Ottawa County, but they have not yet tested Holland or other Ottawa County water supplies. In order to get information to the community sooner, HBPW chose to take a proactive approach and start the testing process early.

“HBPW has been providing water to the Holland area for 125 years,” said Dave Koster, general manager, HBPW. “Taking a proactive approach to testing for PFAS was important to us in an effort to continue to provide open, transparent information to our customers. Customers have the right to clean water and we are proud that we can provide that to our community,” said Koster.

In addition to testing the drinking water, HBPW also tested the treated water from the WRF. The WRF provides treatment of wastewater from the City of Holland and surrounding townships. The test results from the WRF were also very low, with the effluent water sample having a PFOS concentration of 2.61 parts per trillion (ppt) and a PFOA concentration that was non-detect.

Additionally, water from the facility’s biosolids was tested and had a non-detect for PFOS and a concentration of 2.06 ppt for PFOA. These levels are all well below the MDEQ water quality standards for discharges from wastewater treatment facilities and are also well below the 70 ppt drinking water standard.

Moving forward, HBPW plans to continue to self-monitor for PFAS in both drinking water and the effluent water from the WRF. Additionally, HBPW staff will work closely with the MDEQ on their future sampling efforts at the facilities. Should any concerns arise from this future testing, HBPW will immediately share those results with the community.

Check on power restoration by using our outage map. (Available on your computer, Apple or Android phone)

After a storm, always be aware of your surroundings.
As families begin to clean up following a flood or a severe storm, it is important to remember that there may still be electrical hazards hidden throughout the home. Stop and look around before stepping into a flooded area and be aware that submerged outlet or electrical cords may energize the water, posing a potentially deadly trap

Generators while convenient, can be dangerous.
Although convenient, if connected or used improperly, portable generators have the potential to seriously injure or kill you, your neighbors or unsuspecting utility crews. A portable generator plugged directly into your home's wiring can cause backfeed and actually energize the utility wires outside your home. This can create a danger for utility crews and anyone else who may come into contact with downed or low hanging wires.

  • A generator should never be connected directly into your household wiring without the use of a transfer switch
  • Opening the main breaker to isolate your household wiring from the utility wiring does not provide enough of a guarantee of safety. The breaker may have been damaged and/or may not provide enough gap to safely isolate your home's wiring.
  • A UL listed extension cord should be used to plug into the light or appliance to run directly with the portable generator (reworded)
  • Make sure the extension cord is rated for the size of load it's serving
  • Ensure the generator is running in an open, well-ventilated location as they emit carbon monoxide, a colorless and odorless gas that can silently kill occupants of a home
  • Always follow all the safety instructions that concern the operation of your portable generator
  • Holland BPW does not recommend or endorse any particular generator manufacturer or model.

Watch for downed power lines.

  • Always assume fallen power lines are energized and stay at least 10 feet away from a downed power line and any nearby objects it may be touching
  • If a downed power line lands on your vehicle or house, stay inside as leaving the house or vehicle will put you in danger of direct contact with the power line.
  • Never attempt to move a downed power line
  • Never touch a person or object that is in direct or indirect contact with a downed power line; instead call 911 immediately

Always remember to call HBPW at 616.355.1500 to report a downed power line outside your home.


Holland, MI – January 31, 2018 — Holland Board of Public Works (HBPW) General Manager Dave Koster has been named Newsmaker of the Year in the Sustainability Business Services category by the Grand Rapids Business Journal. In an awards ceremony at Fredrick Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park this morning, the publication awarded Koster for his leadership in building a sustainable, affordable and reliable energy future for the Holland community, including the development of Holland Energy Park™.

“It was an honor to receive this award today, among so many other finalists who have made an impact in West Michigan,” said Koster. “From initial outreach and engagement throughout the entire process, Holland Energy Park was truly a community-driven project.”

Koster is a long-time veteran of the Holland BPW, beginning his involvement with the organization as an intern in 1989. After graduating with a degree in mechanical engineering from Michigan Technological University in 1992, Koster worked his way up through the organization, attaining a director-level position in 1999. He succeeded to the general manager position in 2011.

In this role, he has successfully led the $240 million Holland Energy Park, the first power plant to receive ISI Envision® Platinum verification. The project validates the community’s 40-year effort to achieve a sustainable energy future and reduce energy demand. From a 50 percent reduction in carbon emissions to walking trails with restored native species and refreshed wetlands, Holland Energy Park is an aspirational example for future power plants all over the world.

Holland BPW Offers Tips to Prevent Freezing Pipes in Customer’s Homes

January 24, 2019, Holland, Michigan – Holland Board of Public Works (HBPW) is offering tips to help protect customer’s homes and help prevent pipes from freezing during the forecasted cold weather.  

Running a constant stream of water is often a tip that is heard throughout the winter months, but it’s not always the only option.

“While it’s true that running water doesn’t usually freeze, economically speaking, a customer will end up paying more in the long run by keeping a drip going,” said Kevin Koning, water/wastewater services superintendent, HBPW. “Keep the meter above freezing temperatures by insulating the meter and piping, caulking cracks and fixing windows all help prevent pipes from freezing. These are all things that homeowners can do at a low cost.”

Holland BPW recommends the following tips:

  • Most pipes come into the house through the wall or floor of the basement to the meter. Make sure there are no broken or open windows, cracks in walls or drafty areas by the meter and water service line.
  • Insulate the meter and pipe. Batting insulation and foam pipe insulation are appropriate and can be found at most hardware stores.
  • For mobile homes, heat tape may be an option if other insulation is not adequate.
  • If away from the home for extended periods, set the thermostat no lower than 55 degrees.

“If you turn on your faucet and little or no water comes out, it’s possible your pipes are already frozen,” said Koning. “If this happens, it’s best to call a licensed plumber as soon as possible.”

In addition to calling a licensed plumber, customers should also keep the following in mind:

  • Keep the faucet open so water has a better chance of flowing through the frozen area
  • Never try to thaw a pipe without a trained professional
  • Never use an electrical appliance in an area of standing water
  • Check for other frozen pipes throughout your home