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Robinson Elementary School (Grand Haven) Drinking Water Response

Robinson Elementary, Grand Haven, Michigan

Robinson Elementary School (Grand Haven) Drinking Water Response

Updated: May 17, 2019

At Robinson Elementary, bottled water continues to be provided for drinking and the Grand Haven Area Public Schools staff is actively working with industry professionals on a system design for an on-site water filtration system.

Project History:

As part of the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) statewide public water supply sampling survey, Robinson Elementary School in Grand Haven, Ottawa county, was sampled on September 18, 2018. 

On October 29, 2018, EGLE drinking water staff received the results from the September 18 sampling, showing Robinson Elementary School’s drinking water tested over 70 parts per trillion (ppt) for PFOS + PFOA. Results were:        

  • PFOS + PFOA = 110 ppt
    • PFOA = 9 ppt
    • PFOS = 101 ppt
  • PFBS = 14 ppt
  • PFHxS = 20 ppt
  • Total PFAS (all of the above) = 144 ppt

EGLE immediately informed the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), the Ottawa County Department of Public Health (OCDPH) and the Governor’s Office, and within hours had a call set up to discuss with officials from the OCDPH, Robinson Township, and Grand Haven Area Public Schools.  School leaders at Robinson Elementary School shared the information within the school and the school stopped using their well water and began using bottled water for drinking and cooking.  Ottawa county officials also immediately began planning to get a longer-term supply of bottled water to the school. 

By late afternoon, EGLE’s contractor, AECOM, had collected a second (confirmation) sample at the school, as well as a sample from a nearby fire station and a day care facility adjacent to the school. EGLE expedited the results; results were expected on Wednesday, October 31 and arrived as expected. Results from Robinson Elementary School were:

  • PFOS + PFOA = 119 ppt
    • PFOA = 13 ppt
    • PFOS = 106 ppt
  • PFBS = 29 ppt
  • PFHxS = 23 ppt
  • Total PFAS (all of the above) = 171 ppt

Before school was out for the day, Grand Haven Area Public Schools Superintendent Andrew Ingall had developed a letter to send home with children. In addition, EGLE had already begun investigating historic records for potential sources in the area. EGLE also partnered with the Michigan Geological Survey to obtain information on groundwater flow direction in the area.  All of this information was used to determine next steps for the investigation around Robinson Elementary School, in the area called 120th Avenue.

Learn more about the 120th Avenue Area PFAS source investigation.

The rest of the school district uses water that comes from the Northwest Ottawa Water System, which was also sampled on September 18, 2018.  The results for this system were non-detect for PFOS + PFOA, and non-detect for Total PFAS, in both the untreated water and the treated drinking water.

Communications on actions related to this location are placed on the MPART website and a PFAS Response webpage set up by Ottawa County.

Public Presentations:

February 8, 2019 - EGLE and MDHHS Town Hall Meeting Presentation