Feb 04, 2021

Michigan School Looks to Replace Drinking Water Well

Central Montcalm Public School in Stanton, Michigan, must drill a replacement drinking water well after new guidelines from the Michigan PFAS Action Response Team (MPART) were released.

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Central Montcalm Public School must now look to drill a replacement drinking water well due to new guidelines from the Michigan PFAS Action Response Team (MPART).

In 2018, the state of Michigan passed legislation mandating that all schools connected to private wells must have their water sources tested for per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), reported The Daily News.

Central Montcalm Middle and High School’s drinking water well’s test came back at 19 parts per trillion (ppt) for perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane (PFOS) and 64 total tested for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) on Jul. 13, 2018.

A second test done on Aug. 17, 2018 came back at 27 ppt for PFOA and PFOS and 79 total tested PFAS. A third test on Sept. 14, 2018 showed 31 ppt for PFOA and PFOS and 91 total tested PFAS, according to the state.

Central Montcalm Superintendent Amy Meinhardt told The Daily News that upon receiving the results, the school sent letters notifying parents of the detection and filters were installed on all drinking fountains.

At the time, the health advisory criteria for both the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) was 70 ppt for PFOA and PFOS.

On Aug. 3, 2020, MPART updated their PFAS investigation guidelines, making the maximum contaminant level for PFOA 8 ppt and the maximum contaminant level for PFOS 16 ppt.

According to Stanton city officials, the school district is currently looking to obtain funding so a new well can be installed.

Central Montcalm’s three tests from 2018 now exceed the state’s new guidelines, but the drinking water well is still in compliance with the state’s regulations, reported The Daily News.

Central Montcalm has until Sept. 30, 2021 to complete its yearly sampling. The school is now looking into an alternative drinking water source.

EGLE is currently investigating the cause for the contamination, reported The Daily News. A city-owned landfill abandoned in 1980 located approximately 0.8 miles north of Central Montcalm High School is the suspected culprit, but this has not been confirmed.

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