Cascade Township Residential Wells

Updated: August 5, 2019

Summary: In March through May 2019, the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) requested to sample approximately 100 residential drinking water wells along “Trout Creek” in the neighborhood east of the 36th Street exits off I-96,west of the Thornapple River  for PFAS as part of the ongoing investigation of potential PFAS contamination sources in Cascade Township. This area was selected due to its proximity to known and potential PFAS sources and local geologic features. Samples were collected from only those properties where EGLE was given permission and 82 samples were collected in two phases. Results are summarized below and in the provided figures: 

Cascade Township Residential Well Sampling PFOS+PFOA Result Map
 
  Cascade Township Residential Well Sampling Total Tested PFAS Result Map
 
Range PFOS+PFOA (ppt)   Range Total Tested PFAS (ppt)

 

Non-Detect

0 < to < 10

> 10 to < 70

> 70

Number of Results

43 20 19 0
 
 

Non-Detect

0 < to < 10

> 10 to < 100

> 100

Number of Results

31 13 32 6

 

Each result is below the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) Lifetime Health Advisory (LHA) level of 70 parts per trillion (ppt) for PFOS+PFOA. The highest PFOS+PFOA result is 54.8 ppt and the highest Total PFAS result is 150 ppt.

Residents have been notified of their results and in response, the Kent County Health Department will offer point-of-use filters to each household with a detection of any PFAS compound.

Based on the results of the first two sampling phases, EGLE will expand its sampling area to a third phase of residential wells immediately around those locations where the highest PFAS concentrations were detected. EGLE will request access to sample 96 additional residential drinking water wells, which includes all Phase 2 wells that were not already sampled.

EGLE has contacted property owners in the third phase sampling area through postage mail and will go door to door in an attempt to schedule a sampling appointment. Phase 3 sampling will occur during the week of August 19. Residents who are not contacted but believe they may be in the study area can contact the EGLE Remediation and Redevelopment Division’s project manager Aaron Assmann at assmanna@michigan.gov or 616-430-5275.

Note: Residents previously sampled as part of the sampling efforts by Gerald R. Ford International Airport or by Lacks Industries will not be resampled. Residents who provided independent PFAS results that were non-detect will not be contacted.

Once collected, Phase 3 sample results could take 8 weeks to return. Once results become available, they will be mailed to property owners to an address of their choice, along with an explanation of the results compared to health advisory levels. The results will be shared with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and the Kent County Health Department so that they can help answer any health-related questions and take the appropriate action regarding public health. EGLE will evaluate the collection of results to determine appropriate next steps that could include expanding the sampling area.

EGLE, along with the Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS), and the Kent County Health Department (KCHD), will host a public meeting on Thursday August 22nd starting at 6:00 P.M. in the Wisner Center of the Cascade Township Library (2870 Jacksmith Ave SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546). Doors open at 5:30 P.M. and time will be available for Q&A at the end. This meeting will focus on the state funded Cascade Township Residential Wells project and intends to reach those residents who have been contacted by EGLE or have allowed EGLE to sample their drinking water well as part of this project. This project is not associated with the Lack's Industries (Cascade) project or properties with residential drinking water wells north of 28th Street, east of the Thornapple River, west of the 36th Street exit off I-96 or south of the M-6 exit off I-96.

EGLE will also continue to evaluate all commercial activities near Cascade Township that have or may have used materials containing PFAS as part of their operations. In addition to the two known PFAS sources, Lack’s Industries – Cascade, and Gerald R. Ford International Airport (GFIA), EGLE is also evaluating the sampling results from the MPART Industrial Pre-treatment Program (IPP). The information gathered from the IPP has also identified other PFAS users in the area, but at locations without confirmed releases of PFAS-containing materials to the environment. In addition, EGLE completed an internal geologic review of the area surrounding GFIA and concluded that the relationship of known PFAS conditions in the area and the local geology warranted further investigation in the area northeast of GFIA. Specifically, the review recommended that this be accomplished through private residential drinking water well sampling.

To receive future updates from EGLE on this investigation, register for the “Cascade Township Residential Wells Sampling and PFAS Analysis” listserv.

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