Central Sanitary Landfill, Pierson, Montcalm County

PFOA + PFOS Sampling Results - Central Sanitary LandfillUpdated: March 28, 2019


Central Sanitary Landfill (CSL) is an operating licensed landfill in Pierson, Michigan.  The facility is a Type II landfill which accepts municipal solid waste. PFAS investigation began when it was discovered that CSL accepted tannery wastes from Wolverine World Wide, Inc., in Rockford, Michigan which may have contained high levels of PFAS.

Recent Accomplishments

  • On January 11, 2018, the MDEQ received results from CSL for 11 samples as a part of their first quarterly PFAS monitoring event.
  • On February 05, 2019, The MDEQ received results from CSL for the two new monitoring wells installed in the North West corner of the landfill, just west of US-131.

Next Steps

  • CSL will install a shallow and a deep monitoring well west of US-131. Drilling is expected to occur the week of April 15.
  • CSL continues the ongoing pilot testing for the PFAS granular activated carbon (GAC) treatment system. Pilot testing expected to be complete in May 2019.
  • CSL will continue the installation of additional sentinel monitoring wells to better monitor PFAS in the groundwater. These wells will help detect PFAS before it reaches homes.

Residential Well Testing/Alternate Water Information

  • 26 residential wells have been tested by CSL; one resident was resampled.
  • Three households have been provided a filter by CSL and filters were offered to any resident in the Phase I or II investigation area who had a PFAS detection as a precaution by the Mid-Michigan District Health Department.
  • For additional information on residential well testing and results, visit the Frequently Asked Questions.

Upcoming Community Engagement

None scheduled at this time.

Sampling: PFOS and PFOA Only

Type of Sample

Date Sampled

Number of Samples

Number of Results Received

Number of Non-detects

Number of Detections Below Standard*

Number of Detections Greater Than Standard*

Drinking Water (Residential, Type II) May 2, 2018 -
Oct 24, 2018
28 28 22 6 0
Effluent (Air Stripper) May 17, 2018 -
Jul 18, 2018
2 2 0 0 2


Feb 27, 2018 -
Nov 20, 2018
60 47 13 18 16


  90 76 34 24 18

*Surface water and effluent results are compared to Rule 57 surface water quality values of 12 ppt for PFOS and 12,000 ppt for PFOA.
*Residential well results are compared to the EPA Lifetime Health Advisory Level of 70 ppt PFOS+PFOA.
*Groundwater results are compared to the MDEQ Part 201 Criteria of 70 ppt PFOS+PFOA. 

Sampling notes

  • ^The groundwater results in the table above represent 34 unique groundwater wells; 13 of these wells are re-sampled quarterly and are included in the totals above.
  • Non-detect means that the lab did not detect or find PFAS in the water sample at or above the reporting limit.
  • Other PFAS analytes were detected in samples. There are no federal or state standards for these analytes.
  • Air Stripper Influent was also sampled.

Central Sanitary Landfill Historical Timeline

Central Sanitary Landfill (CSL) is located 2/3 of a mile northwest of the Village of Pierson. Central Sanitary Landfill Inc., is a subsidiary of Republic Services, Inc., (Republic). Groundwater contamination is present from historic waste management activities. CSL operates a groundwater remediation system to treat contaminants from the landfill that have leaked into the groundwater.

Except for a small portion of the landfill in the north which is the oldest portion of the site, the landfill is almost completely double-lined. There is a monitored leak detection system installed between the liners. The double liner system with leak detection is designed to detect and correct any leaks before any groundwater contamination can occur.

  • In November 2017, Wolverine World Wide Inc., identified CSL as a location where they disposed of various tannery wastes from approximately 1984-2009. These wastes likely contained high levels of PFAS.
  • From December 2017-February 2018, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) proactively required CSL to develop a workplan to address several issues identified at the site, including the conceptual site model and potential PFAS contamination of groundwater at CSL.
  • On February 27 and 28, 2018, CSL collected the first round of PFAS samples from 10 monitoring wells around the landfill. Monitoring wells are used to detect contaminants and signs of leakage to the groundwater around the landfill.
  • In March 2018, CSL voluntarily collected samples from two non-potable (non-drinking water) supply wells which they use on-site for flushing toilets, washing hands and other maintenance activities.
  • On April 13, 2018, the MDEQ learned that 5 of the 12 onsite monitoring wells that were sampled contained PFAS that exceeded the 70 part per trillion (ppt) lifetime health advisory (LHA) and immediately began working with CSL, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and the Mid-Michigan District Health Department (MMDHD) to develop a phased sampling plan of domestic wells close to and in the directions of groundwater flow from the landfill to ensure that public health was protected.
  • In early May 2018, CSL sampled 12 additional monitoring wells on landfill properties and the results were submitted mid-June to the MDEQ. One of the 12 samples contained PFAS higher than the LHA of 70 ppt.
  • On May 2 and 3, 2018, CSL began the Phase 1 of the plan, which included sampling 19 properties, two of which are Type II public supply wells (wells that serve more people than a single household, such as a business that uses well water). CSL provided bottled water to the properties while sample results were pending. 18 properties were sampled; 1 resident refused to be sampled. Results of this sampling were submitted to the MDEQ on May 29, 2018. Based on the Phase 1 results, it was determined that several additional properties should be sampled (Phase 2).
  • On June 7, 2018, CSL completed Phase 2 of drinking water well sampling.  Phase 2 testing included seven additional properties located near the northeast corner of the landfill.
  • June 18, 2018, the MDEQ, MDHHS, MMDHD, along with CSL, hosted a community open house and public meeting at Tri County High School in Howard City, Michigan.
  • On July 9, 2018, CSL submitted Phase 2 sampling results to the MDEQ.
  • In October-November 2018, CSL installed seven new groundwater monitoring wells to help better delineate PFAS in the groundwater.
  • On October 22-23, 2018, CSL sampled nine additional landfill monitoring wells to help better delineate PFAS in the groundwater.
  • On November 13, 2018, the MDEQ received results from one new residential well and one residential well resample from CSL.
  • On November 20, 2018, CSL completed the first quarterly PFAS monitoring event at select monitoring wells around the landfill.
  • On December 17, 2018, CSL sampled two new groundwater monitoring wells on the west side of US 131 near the landfill.
  • On December 18, 2018, the MDEQ received results from CSL for 9 samples taken from wells in the NE corner of the landfill property and from newly installed wells on the east side of the landfill.
  • On December 19, 2018, CSL installed column testing equipment in the groundwater remediation shed to start running on-site pilot testing for granular activated carbon (GAC) efficiency.
  • On January 11, 2018, the MDEQ received results from CSL for 11 samples as a part of CSLs first quarterly PFAS monitoring event.
  • On February 05, 2019, The MDEQ received results from CSL for the two new monitoring wells installed in the North West corner of the landfill, just west of US-131.


June 18, 2018 Public Meeting Documents

April 26, 2018 Public Meeting Documents

Health Information

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry