Grayling Area PFAS Response

  • Grayling Army Airfield (GAAF), Crawford County

    As of the week of December 18, 2017:

    422 private wells have been tested for PFOA/PFOS
    302 results are in
    Fourteen (14) are over 70 parts per trillion (PPT)
    Concentrations range between Non-Detect and 694.2 PPT

    The Camp Grayling environmental staff regularly monitor a number of environmental factors at the camp and airfield to ensure safety, compliance with state and federal regulations, and to proactively detect and remedy potential problems. The most recent proactive measure was to test water samples for PFAS. A few of the samples detected PFOS/PFOA at levels above EPA lifetime health advisory. The Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, along with state and local environmental experts and officials, want to share PFAS investigation status in the area and information about this family of chemicals in general with members of the Grayling community and any other concerned citizens.

  • Lake Margrethe Area, Crawford County

    As the Grayling water investigation continues to evolve, it is priority one that you are frequently updated as new information is received.  Recently, the MDEQ tested lake foam, lake water, a hand pump, and a residential well on Lake Margrethe for PFOS/PFOA. The results found elevated levels of PFOA in some of the lake foam samples, and trace amounts of other PFAS in lake water samples and the private well.

    While most shoreline foam is naturally occurring and typically has a brown tint, the foam tested on Lake Margrethe was bright white and sudsy, prompting testing by MDEQ. They are diligently working to determine a source for the PFAS and potential impact to residents.

    Skin contact with the foam is not considered harmful. As a precaution, District Health Department #10 recommends that swallowing foam or lake water be avoided.  Residents that eat fish caught from Lake Margrethe should follow the same guidelines for mercury listed in the Statewide Safe Fish Guidelines from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS).  You can find it on their website:

    MDEQ will be testing residential well water around Lake Margrethe and ask that residents please fill out an information card at District Health Department #10 or at  You will be contacted by MDEQ or their contractor, AECOM, to schedule a water sample collection date.  If you are wintering in another state and have closed up your residence, please complete the information card when you return in the spring to be tested then.

Contact Information

  • For assistance, please email the Environmental Assistance Center or call 800-662-9278.

    If you live in the designated area for free water testing, please fill out and send this email form.

    Residents please note:

    Many residents have inquired about which whole house filters are certified to remove PFOS/PFOA. At this time, the DEQ is not aware of any whole house filters currently on the market that are certified to remove PFOS/PFOA by the NSF International.

Grayling Area Investigation Locations

  • Grayling Army Airfield (GAAF)
    • The DEQ learned about the Grayling area PFAS site in early 2017 when the DMVA notified the DEQ that groundwater samples on the Grayling Army Airfield tested positive for PFOS/PFOA.
    • The Grayling Army Airfield is just outside the northern boundary of the city of Grayling and is surrounded by residential and commercial properties.
    • The DMVA sampled 190 residential drinking water wells.
    • The DEQ has tested 481 residential and commercial drinking water wells since August 2017. Fifteen of the wells tested had results over 70 ppt for PFOS plus PFOA. Thirteen of the fifteen wells exceeding 70 ppt were residential supply wells.
    • Sampling has expanded to east of the site.
    • Timberly Village Mobile Home Community was sampled in June 2017, and low levels of PFAS were detected. Notification to the approximately 60 residents in 25 mobile homes was provided by the owner. Follow‑up samples were collected in August, and two wells reported low levels of these compounds.
    • An alternative water supply (bottled water and filters) is being provided for all well locations where results exceed 70 ppt for PFOS plus PFOA. Just filters are being provided to homes that have detections of PFAS but are below 70 ppt for PFOS plus PFOA. There are ongoing discussions to determine if filters should be provided to additional homes until a long-term solution is identified.
  • Lake Margrethe
    • The DEQ received a picture and video of foam at the site in October 2017 from a part-time resident.
    • The area is residential and recreational with Camp Grayling Joint Maneuvering Training Center on the south end of the lake. A state forest campground (primitive camping) is on the west side of the lake.
    • The DEQ responded in October of 2017 by collecting four surface water samples and four foam samples from Lake Margrethe, one residential well sample, and a hand pump well sample at the state forest campground.
    • The residential well campled in October was non-detect for PFOS plus PFOA but did have low concentrations of other PFAS compounds. The hand pump well results were non-detect for all PFAS compounds.
    • The DEQ is testing residential supply wells at locations on and near the lake and continues to study issues regarding the foam to better determine ways to address impacts to the lake.