Sep 18, 2018

Emerging Contaminants Found in Orleans Township, Mich., Groundwater

No advisory level is set for the two emerging contaminants found in groundwater, PFBS and PFHxA

Emerging contaminants found in Orleans Township, Mich., groundwater
Emerging contaminants found in Orleans Township, Mich., groundwater

Two per- and polyfluoralkyl substances (PFAS) have been discovered in Orleans Township, Mich., groundwater. The two emerging contaminants, PFBS and PFHxA, were found in concentrations of 200 ppt and 3 ppt respectively in the second round of testing conducted by the Ionia County Health Department at the EightCAP site, a community resource center. The second round of testing revealed a slight increase from the first round.

PFOA and PFOS, the two PFAS that the U.S. EPA has set a health advisory for, were not found in the township. PFBS and PFHxA do not have an advisory level set and health officials are continuing to investigate the extent of the contamination, as the cause currently is unknown.

While the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has concluded that the groundwater contamination is not an immediate or urgent health concern, the Ionia County Health Department recommends residents near the site that use groundwater get their water quality tested privately. The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services are considering additional water quality testing, as reported by the Sentinel Standard.

“My recommendation would be to sample, but if possible to wait and see if the state will step in first,” said Ken Bowen, health officer at the Ionia County Health Department. “If people prefer not to wait we can provide them with information on sampling. Taking the samples is a complicated process, but we expect a do-it-yourself guide from the state very soon.”

Out of 39 sites in Ionia County tested, results from four of the sites have come back and three have been negative, excluding the Orleans Township EightCAP site.  

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