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Alto-Bancroft Area of Interest (Alto, Kent County)

Web content may not routinely be updated on this page. Please contact the Site Lead for the most up-to-date status of the site.
Content posted November 2021.

EGLE Site Lead

Leah Gies, or 616-215-4781.


The Alto Elementary School is located at 6150 Bancroft Avenue SE.  PFAS sampling started in May 2018 as the part of a statewide initiative by EGLE to study PFAS in the water supply at schools across Michigan.  The PFAS compounds PFHxS, PFBS, and PFOS were detected in the Alto Elementary School at various times since sampling began. In March 2021, PFHxS was detected above the drinking water standard and data indicates concentrations continue to be elevated.  There are no known PFAS releases in the area, however, several potential sources are being investigated.  EGLE is conducting additional drinking water well sampling in the neighborhood around the elementary school.

The site appears to be at a relative topographic high point.  Groundwater flow direction is unknown but may be to the northeast toward the Pratt Lake Creek or to the west toward the Thornapple River.  Potential receptors include the residences to the west of the elementary school across Bancroft Avenue.

Alto-Bancroft Area of Interest map

Recent Accomplishments

  • On June 17, 2021, the well at Alto Baptist Church (6015 Bancroft Avenue SE) was sampled; PFAS compounds were not detected.
  • On June 30, 2021, the well at the Bowne Township Fire Station (south of the elementary school) was sampled.  Low level detections of PFAS were identified, but none of the concentrations were above the drinking water standard.
  • On October 20, 2021, drinking water samples were collected from Alto Elementary School.  The highest result was 62 ppt for PFHxS (compared to 51 ppt).  
  • A proposed townhome development further west of Bancroft and southwest of the Magna Mirrors facility has been proposed.  On November 22, 2021, EGLE received notice that a test well was installed at the location and sampled for PFAS in September 2021, to determine if future drinking water wells can be installed for the proposed development.  The result was non-detect for PFAS.

Next Steps

  • Quarterly sampling of the Alto Elementary School well is ongoing for PFAS under the Safe Drinking Water Act.
  • EGLE will request permission to sample eight residential wells along Bancroft Avenue, directly west of the elementary school. 
  • EGLE will work with Alto Elementary School to take required steps under the Safe Drinking Water Act.

Residential Well/Alternate Water

  • Municipal water is not available in this area.

Upcoming Community Engagement

  • None scheduled at this time.

Sampling Results Summary

Type of Sample

Date Sampled (or Range)

Number of Sample Results Received

Number of Samples above Criteria*

Residential Wells

TBD - -

*Residential well and groundwater monitoring well results are compared to EGLE Part 201 criteria for 7 PFAS compounds effective 12/21/2020:  PFOS (16 ppt), PFOA (8 ppt), PFNA (6 ppt), PFHxS (51 ppt), PFHxA (400,000 ppt), PFBS (420 ppt), and HFPO-DA (370 ppt).

Sampling Notes

  • None at this time.