Drinking Water Workgroup

an icon of the outline of a glass of water

Mission:

To identify and quantify public exposure to PFAS compounds in public drinking water supplies.

In 2018 the Drinking Water Workgroup began a statewide per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) survey designed to test the drinking water resources of three-quarters of Michigan’s approximately 10 million residents, specifically those who get their drinking water from a public supply. This survey was administered by Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE), Drinking Water and Environmental Health Division (DWEHD) staff and is ongoing. For results, see Statewide Testing Initiative.

The workgroup is made up of permanent members from EGLE DWEHD, EGLE Remediation and Redevelopment Division, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS). Workgroup projects often involve active collaboration with additional interested parties, including our local public health partners and other Michigan PFAS Action Response Team (MPART) member agencies. This multi-agency collaboration has played a vital role in developing educational materials, sampling protocols, response recommendations, and communication strategies related to MPART’s drinking water-related initiatives.

Recent Accomplishments:

  • Assisted with EGLE’s rule promulgation efforts to establish Maximum Contaminant Limits (MCL) for seven PFAS compounds.
  • Completed additional sampling for the Statewide PFAS Survey for Public Water Supplies (approximately 2,500 sampled to-date).
  • Performed ongoing PFAS monitoring of public water supplies with PFAS detections of 10 parts per trillion (ppt) or greater and public water supplies utilizing surface water as a source.

Next Steps:

  • Expand the Statewide PFAS Survey for Public Water Supplies to include one-time sampling for all supplies covered under the proposed MCL rule.
  • Continue MPART-led efforts to prioritize the locations of all public water supplies with sample results of at least 10 ppt total PFAS in order to guide further sampling/investigatory work by member agencies around those locations.
  • The Drinking Water Workgroup will continue working with our partners in local public health, the MDHHS, and the MPART Laboratory Standards Workgroup to develop standard procedures for the receipt and communication of analytical results for PFAS in private homes.

Report:

EGLE Summary of Public Comments for Rule Set # 2019-35 EG: Supplying Water to the Public: This report provides a summary of the over 3,300 public comments received during the official period for public comment. The report was provided to the Environmental Rules Review Committee (ERRC) as part of the rules package, ahead of their decision to approve the rules.

Research/Studies: 

  • The largest study overseen by the workgroup is the ongoing Statewide PFAS Survey for Public Water Supplies. The purpose of this work is to serve the established mission of the workgroup, which is to: “Identify and quantify public exposure to PFAS compounds in public drinking water supplies.”
  • Targeted sampling and monitoring initiatives are conducted with the goal of collecting and better understanding specific information, such as:
    • What is the seasonable variability of PFAS in groundwater? or
    • Has historical PFAS use in the area led to contamination of one or more individual source wells? or
    • Are public water supplies which utilize surface water as a source at a greater risk to seasonal variability in PFAS levels?

Timeline of Accomplishments:

  • April 2018 – Began Statewide PFAS Survey for Public Water Supplies (ongoing)
  • June 2018 – Developed sampling guidance for private residential well PFAS sampling
  • January 2019 – Completed the first phase of the Statewide Survey, which sampled Community Water Supplies, as well as schools and childcare providers on their own well
  • March 2019 – Began PFAS monitoring of public water supplies with PFAS detections of at least 10 ppt, and public water supplies utilizing a surface water source (ongoing)
  • April 2019 – Began work with the EGLE DWEHD on PFAS MCL rule promulgation (ongoing)
  • December 2019 – Completed statewide survey of additional noncommunity water supplies serving sensitive populations

Workgroup Lead:

George L. Krisztian, Assistant Director, DWEHD
KrisztianG@Michigan.gov