On Thursday, July 26, 2018, test results showed the municipal water system in Parchment — which serves approximately 3,100 residents in Parchment and Cooper Township — contained 670 ppt PFOA and 740 ppt PFOS; with a total PFAS level of 1,600ppt.
The Parchment municipal water supply was sampled on June 18, 2018. The supply draws from three wells and serves over 1,200 customers and 3,100 people in the City of Parchment and Cooper Township.
The testing was conducted as part of Gov. Rick Snyder’s unprecedented and proactive effort to test all water systems for these chemicals, which are starting to emerge in many states across the nation and raising public health concerns. The Michigan PFAS Action Response Team immediately mobilized and began implementing a public health response.
That same day, confirmation samples of the water supply were collected.
The State Emergency Operations Center was activated.
Late that Thursday, the Kalamazoo Department of Health and Community Services issued a “Do Not Drink” advisory instructing customers of the Parchment water supply to stop drinking their water due to high levels of PFOS and PFOA found in the municipal wells.
At 10:00pm that Thursday, a local press conference was held. The Parchment and Kalamazoo water systems were temporarily connected via hydrants.
On Friday, July 27, bottled water distribution began at 7:00am, and potential PFAS usage/source areas were identified.
On Saturday, July 28, Kalamazoo County declared a “local state of emergency,” which activated local emergency response and recovery plans.
On Saturday, July 28, the county asked the state for a declaration. By requesting a governor’s declaration, the county had determined local resources are insufficient to address the situation and state assistance is required to protect public health, safety and property to lessen or avert the threat of a crisis.
On Saturday, July 28, sampling of private residential wells began within the wellhead protection area within a 1-mile radius of the Parchment municipal wells.
On July 29, Lt. Gov. Brian Calley declared a state of emergency for Kalamazoo County due to the ongoing health and safety concerns due to per- and polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) contamination in the drinking water for the city of Parchment and Cooper Township.
On July 29, the City of Parchment began flushing their entire water system.
On July 31, MPART held a municipal briefing with local officials, and an open house/town hall meeting with residents.
On July 31, lead and copper sampling began of the Parchment water system. This was done due to the possibility of stirring up sediments in the supply due to the flushing.
On August 1, MDEQ began sampling the existing groundwater monitoring wells at the nearby Crown Vantage Landfill. In total, 15 wells were sampled, with results expected in 3-4 weeks.
On August 1, residential whole-house flushing of the Parchment water system began.
On August 3, flushing and sampling was conducted at 4 Parchment schools.
On August 5, MPART briefed Governor Snyder on progress and planned actions.
On August 8, MPART held preliminary discussions with the U.S. EPA.
On August 14, MDEQ began sampling existing monitoring wells at the Crown Vantage Plant site. In total, 10 wells were sampled, with results expected in 3-4 weeks.
On August 20, the Kalamazoo County Health & Community Services Department began making arrangements for the installation of drinking water filters for all residences with private drinking water wells that have been tested and found to have any level of PFAS.
On August 20, water quality parameters, including iron and manganese, indicate that the system was settling down to background levels after being flushed with Kalamazoo water. One more round of samples was scheduled.
On August 24, the MDEQ recommended lifting the drinking water advisory on the Parchment municipal system Monday, August 27, 2018, based upon review of the latest lead and copper tests and other water quality parameters for the system.
As of August 31, MDEQ continued the investigation into the source of the contamination of Parchment’s municipal supply.