MDHHS to retest wells for PFAS in Oscoda area

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 5, 2020

CONTACT: Lynn Sutfin, 517-241-2112

LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) will retest residential drinking water wells in the Oscoda area for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). The retesting will help MDHHS determine if PFAS levels change in residents’ drinking water over time.

The residential drinking water wells were first tested by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy, formerly the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, to determine if PFAS was in residential drinking water wells located near the former Wurtsmith Air Force base.

“This retesting is being done to better understand PFAS levels,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, MDHHS chief medical executive and MDHHS chief deputy for health. “This is an opportunity for residents to learn more about their drinking water.”

MDHHS recently mailed letters to residents whose well water was previously tested, to those who were offered filters or both. The letters contain information about how to schedule follow-up testing. Residents living near the former base who had their wells previously tested and those who were offered a filter should call 844-934-1315 if they do not receive a letter from MDHHS before Wednesday, March 11. There is no charge for this testing.

MDHHS plans to collect the well water samples beginning the week of March 16. Seasonal residents can schedule a test for a later time. Test results will be provided to the well owners four to six weeks after samples are submitted to the laboratory.

Residents who have questions about this PFAS testing effort or who would like to schedule an appointment, can call MDHHS at 844-934-1315. For more information about the PFAS response in the Oscoda area near Wurtsmith Air Force Base, or in Michigan as a whole, visit Michigan.gov/PFASResponse.  

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