Van Etten Lake

  • In Summer 2017, EGLE began sampling of foam on the surface of Van Etten Lake. Sampling of foam still occurs to present day, depending on the volume of foam, location, and type/appearance.
    • A total of 15 Foam samples were collected in the summer of 2017 and December 12, 2017. 
    • Total PFAS range from 2,487 ppt to 164,113 ppt in foam on Van Etten Lake. 
  • On September 1, 2017, District Health Department #2 issued a “do not eat the foam” advisory for Van Etten Lake cautioning residents against swallowing the foam. 
  • In December 2017, foam on Cedar Lake, a lake 2 miles north of Van Etten Lake, was tested and results were 242 ppt total tested PFAS. 
  • On June 25, 2018, EGLE launched a pilot project to begin testing how to remove foam from Van Etten Lake.
  • On September 25 and 26, and on October 1 and 2, 2018, EGLE collected an additional set of foam samples at four locations on Van Etten Lake.
  • On November 8, 2018, EGLE conducted a drone flight to check on the ability to see groundwater seeps into Van Etten Lake.  An additional drone flight was flown December 19, 2018 due to the lake level being dropped for the winter. No data was collected due to the drone crashing.
  • On November 14, 2018, EGLE’s contractor tried out a small-scale vacuum system designed to collect foam from smaller foam events.
  • On December 19, 2018, a second drone flight was conducted over Van Etten Lake to check for groundwater seeps; the drone was heavily damaged and footage was lost.
  • On December 27, 2018, EGLE’s contractor AECOM sampled groundwater seeps on what was the bottom of the lake, as the lake had been lowered for the winter.  Surface water samples were also taken in the area of the seeps; Ratliff Park.  The pore water results found PFOA ranging from 11.4 – 108 ppt and PFOS from 54.5 – 566 ppt.  Surface water samples for PFOA ranged from 28.4 – 131 ppt and PFOS from 50.4 - 497 ppt. FLIR camera photos showed what appeared to be groundwater seeps on the bottom of the exposed lakebed.
  • Starting on February 6, 2019 EGLE’s contractor finalized the Van Etten Lake Surface Water Sampling Report and sent it out to the Townships, RAB, NOW, AFCEC, DHD2, and DEQ staff.
  • On February 26, 2019, EGLE’s consultant, DLZ, sampled ice in Van Etten Lake to check for the presence of PFAS.  This work was performed in response to the frozen foam and ice issues from last winter on the lake. Three levels of ice will be analyzed.
  • On March 19, 2019, EGLE received results from the Van Etten Lake ice sampling and are currently under review.
  • On June 13, 2019, EGLE sampled the Pine River (tributary to Van Etten Lake) for PFAS; the results found L-PFBA at 3.3 ppt.
  • December 2019: Moving forward updates will be incorporated into the former Wurtsmith Air Force Base timeline.

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