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Watson Township Dump (Watson Township, Allegan County)

EGLE Site Lead: Ray Spaulding, SpauldingR1@Michigan.gov or 517-290-2401. Webpage last updated: February 24, 2020

Background

This site is the former Watson Township Dump located on the south side of 115th Avenue approximately one quarter mile west of 12th Street. The dump operated from at least as far back as the early 1970s to the mid-1980s. Watson Township hired a consultant to determine if groundwater contamination exists in the area of the former dump. Temporary monitoring wells were installed to evaluate groundwater conditions near the extent of fill material. The analytical results from the groundwater samples indicated that PFAS was present at the dump at concentrations exceeding cleanup criteria for groundwater. The highest result was 474 ppt PFOS + PFOA. A surface water sample was collected from a groundwater seep and Caruthers Lake. PFAS was detected in the surface water sample from Caruthers Lake, north of the landfill but below the surface water non- drinking water standard of 12 ppt for PFOS and 12,000 ppt PFOA.
 
Groundwater is thought to be a mound at the location of the dump and the gradient is shallow, but appears to flow west, south and possibly to the east, with questionable north flow. Groundwater flow to the west is thought to be intercepted by Schnable Brook and then the pond, flowing to the Kalamazoo River. There is flow to the south, which can be intercepted by an unnamed drainage and pond which flows to the Gun River and drains to the Kalamazoo River.

Watson Township Dump Residential & Surface Water PFAS Sampling Map

Recent Accomplishments

  • In June 2019, a consultant on behalf of Watson Township, collected four groundwater samples from on-site temporary monitoring wells. The highest PFOS + PFOA groundwater result was 474 ppt.
  • In August 2019, EGLE received the results from the June sampling event.
  • On September 26, 2019, EGLE, DHHS and Allegan County Health Department held a town hall meeting in Watson Township.
  • Based on the elevated PFAS concentrations in the on-site monitoring wells and groundwater flow, EGLE established a circular study area with a radius of one-half mile from the northern end of the property. As of October 8, 2019, a total of 18 drinking water wells had been tested for PFAS. PFAS was not detected in any of the drinking water wells tested to date.
  • On November 20, 2019, EGLE sent a compliance communication to Watson Township requesting the township determine the extent of contamination as well as groundwater flow direction.

Next Steps

  • EGLE will evaluate the investigation results when they are received from Watson Township.

Residential Well Testing/Alternate Water Information

  • EGLE identified approximately 20 drinking water wells within a half mile radius of the former dump. As of October 8, 2019, 18 of the drinking water wells have been tested. No PFAS compounds were detected in 18 drinking wells that were tested.
  • The dragstrip has 3 Type II wells, which were sampled on October 4, 2019. No PFAS compounds were detected in the Type II wells.

Upcoming Community Engagement

  • None scheduled at this time.

Type of Sample

Date Sampled

# of Samples

# of Results Received

# of Non-detects

# Between Non-detect and standard*

# > Standard

Drinking Water

Oct 2019 18 18 18 0 0
Groundwater Jun 2019 4 4 1 1 2
Surface Water Oct 2019 2 2 1 1 0

Cumulative

  24 24 20 2 2

*Groundwater results are compared to EGLE Part 201 Criteria of 70 ppt PFOS+PFOA.
*Surface water samples are compared to Rule 57 non-drinking water values of 12 ppt for PFOS and 12,000 ppt for PFOA.
*Residential well results are compared to the EPA LHA of 70 ppt PFOS+PFOA.

Sampling Notes

  • N/A

Historical Timeline

    • In June 2019, a consultant on behalf of Watson Township, collected four groundwater samples from on-site temporary monitoring wells. The highest PFOS + PFOA groundwater result was 474 ppt.
    • In August 2019, EGLE received the results from the June sampling event.
    • On September 26, 2019, EGLE, DHHS and Allegan County Health Department held a town hall meeting in Watson Township.
    • Based on the elevated PFAS concentrations in the on-site monitoring wells and groundwater flow, EGLE established a circular study area with a radius of one-half mile from the northern end of the property. As of October 8, 2019, a total of 18 drinking water wells had been tested for PFAS. PFAS was not detected in any of the drinking water wells tested to date.
    • On November 20, 2019, EGLE sent a compliance communication to Watson Township requesting the township determine the extent of contamination as well as groundwater flow direction.