Muskegon County, Muskegon, Muskegon County Airport Area

Updated: February 7, 2020

Muskegon County Airport Drinking Water Well Sample Area MapBackground

Muskegon County Airport is located at 99 Sinclair Drive.  Based on Federal Aviation guidelines, the airport was required to conduct regular firefighting training using firefighting foam, also known as Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF).  Given this historical information and the presence of residential drinking water wells, the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) requested that Muskegon County sample residential wells in the vicinity of former firefighting training areas.  Residential well sampling began in August 2018.  Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) were detected at concentrations exceeding the Lifetime Health Advisory in several of the homes in the initial residential well sample area.  The sample area has been expanded several times in order to identify the limits of PFAS impact.

Recent Accomplishments

  • On October 7, 2019, EGLE started an environmental investigation which consisted of the collection of soil and groundwater samples on and near the airport and the measurement of water table elevations. This information has provided more information regarding the distribution of PFAS contamination.
  • From October to December 2019, EGLE resampled homes that were previously sampled by Muskegon County in order to monitor conditions. The resampling effort identified two homes that had detections of PFOS+PFOA above the LHA during the second sample event but had been below the LHA in the previous sample event. 
  • In December 2019, six additional homes were connected to municipal water by Norton Shores using funds provided by EGLE. This brings the total number of municipal water connections funded by EGLE to impacted homes to twelve.  

Next Steps

  • Based upon groundwater flow information and the results of the environmental investigation, EGLE will sample additional homes to the northwest and north of the airport.    

Residential Well Testing/Alternate Water Information

  • Muskegon County is offering point-of-use filters to each house in the investigation area with detections of any PFAS compound.

Sampling: PFOS and PFOA Only

Type of Sample

Date Sampled

Number of Samples

Number of Results Received

Number of Non-detects

Number Between Non-detect and Standard*

Number of > Standard
Drinking Water (Residential) Aug 2018 - Present 152 152 58 86 9
Groundwater Oct - Nov 2019 38 38 14 13 11
Surface Water Oct 2019 4 4 0 4 0
Cumulative   194 194 72 102 20






*Groundwater results are compared to EGLE Part 201 Criteria of 70 ppt PFOS+PFOA.
*Residential well results are compared to the USEPA Lifetime Health Advisory Level of 70 ppt PFOS+PFOA.

*Surface water results are compared to Rule 57 surface water quality values of 12 ppt (PFOS) and 12,000 ppt (PFOA).


Muskegon County Airport Historical Timeline

Mona Lake is located adjacent to the airport. Several small creeks flow to the west and northwest from the airport. Groundwater flow direction varies throughout the site. Dominant flow directions are to the north, northwest, and west.

  • In August 2018, and continuing through the spring of 2019, Muskegon County sampled the drinking well water from 127 homes. Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) were detected in samples from six homes in the Muskegon County investigation area at concentrations exceeding the Lifetime Health Advisory (LHA) of 70 parts per trillion (ppt). Muskegon County provided bottled water and point of use filters to these homes.
  • Due to public interest in this site, EGLE created an Area of Interest writeup on the MPART web site in January 2019.
  • In the summer of 2019, EGLE provided funding to connect municipal water to six homes where exceedances of the LHA were detected.
  • In late August and September 2019, EGLE sampled drinking water wells at additional homes in the vicinity of an airplane crash that occurred on airport property in the early 1980s. Based upon detections of moderate levels (below LHA) of PFOS+PFOA in several drinking wells in this area, EGLE expanded the sample area to include additional homes to the east of the airport. One additional home in this expansion area had a detection of PFOS+PFOA above the LHA.