East Rockford Middle School Water Test Results Show Non Detection of PFC Contamination

Agency: Environmental Quality

No further need for drinking water precaution

October 25, 2017

ROCKFORD, MI – Test results for East Rockford Middle School show that school drinking water wells have no detection of Polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). The school was placed on a precautionary bottled water alert on October 12, 2017 while water testing took place to determine if any contamination was caused by a nearby waste disposal site. 

“We are happy to see that the results demonstrate the school has not been affected by this potential contamination,” said Abigail Hendershott, Acting District Supervisor of the DEQ Grand Rapids office. “The DEQ’s primary focus has been to ensure the safety of the students, staff and faculty which is why we advised precautionary efforts.”

The DEQ was recently contacted by Cannon Township land owners who reported to have evidence of historical waste disposal on their property in the vicinity of Ramsdell between 9 Mile and 10 Mile Roads. DEQ staff inspected the property and confirmed the presence of waste material including leather scraps on the property. Documentation provided by the owner indicates that the previous owner had allowed Wolverine Worldwide Inc. to use the gravel pit as a disposal area. Recent experience in Kent County has demonstrated that these conditions may indicate the presence of PFCs in groundwater.

Testing of this subject area is the latest in an effort by state and local agencies to investigate citizen information regarding alleged waste disposal locations.

PFAS have been classified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as an emerging contaminant on the national landscape. PFAS are a class of man-made chemicals introduced in the 1950s to make products that resist heat, stains, grease, and water. 

For more information, residents can visit www.michigan.gov/belmont or call the DEQ Environmental Assistance Center at 1-800-662-9278.