In July 2018, the city of Parchment's (Parchment) public water supply system became the first system in Michigan with PFAS results over the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s Lifetime Health Advisory level of 70 ppt PFOS + PFOA. The immediate response and activities implemented through August 2018 are included in a timeline. Below is an update starting after the drinking water advisory for PFAS ended on August 27, 2018.
Updated: March 8, 2019
Parchment continues to receive drinking water from the city of Kalamazoo through three connections to the Parchment water distribution system. The two cities are working on a long-term water agreement for Parchment to be a permanent part of the city of Kalamazoo’s water system.
The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) continues to monitor the PFAS levels in Parchment. Monitoring was done at 6 locations in Parchment and Cooper Township weekly through the beginning of October 2018, then was reduced to monthly. Sampling will continue at those 6 locations monthly through July 2019. PFAS levels have remained stable since the advisory was lifted. Future sampling needs will be evaluated in July 2019.
The four Parchment schools connected to the Parchment water system were sampled in September 2018. PFAS levels in the schools are similar to that of the other locations in the Parchment distribution system. Additional water quality sampling has been conducted to monitor the change in source water from Parchment's wells to the water supplied by the city of Kalamazoo. This sampling includes chlorine residual, monitoring of phosphate levels, lead and copper, and other water quality parameters used to evaluate corrosion control. For additional information regarding sampling of all water quality parameters, including PFAS, visit the city of Kalamazoo's Water Resources webpage.
Portions of the Parchment water system were built at a time when it was common to use lead pipe to connect water service to homes. Parchment estimates that about 300 homes have lead service lines. Water quality testing of lead and copper showed elevated levels of lead greater than 15 parts per billion at more than 10 percent of houses with lead service lines in Parchment. As a result, Parchment has an action level exceedance. A public advisory and educational materials were distributed to Parchment and Cooper Township residents that received water from Parchment. Educational materials can be found on the city of Parchment's website under the heading 'Lead Action in Parchment'. The MDEQ continues to monitor corrosion control measures in Parchment and is working with the city of Kalamazoo and the city of Parchment to make improvements to water treatment and to prioritize the replacement of all lead service lines in Parchment.
Kalamazoo County's Health and Community Services Department provides weekly updates on the Kalamazoo County PFAS Water Response and additional resources for residents. All current and previous updates are available at Kalamazoo County’s Health and Community Services Department PFAS Response webpage. The MDEQ will no longer post the Kalamazoo County weekly updates to this page.
The Parchment Water Hotline is no longer in service. If you have further questions after September 7, 2018, please call the Kalamazoo County Health & Community Services Departments’ Environmental Health Unit at 269-373-5200.
For DEQ assistance, please email the Environmental Assistance Center or call 800-662-9278.