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Oakland County International Airport (Waterford, Oakland County)
Please contact the Site Lead for the most up-to-date status of this site.
Oakland County International Airport, located at 6500 Highland Road, was originally developed for the city of Pontiac in 1930 and was later acquired by Oakland County in 1967. In 1965, the airport received its first Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) truck that contained 400 gallons of Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF). Prior to 1996, the AFFF usage records were lost. Between 1996 and 2019, AFFF was used in seven incidents, and in March of 2020 an accidental release of AFFF occurred during nozzle certification, all occurring on the airport property. Based on historical use of AFFF on the airport property, the airport received a grant in the fall of 2020 to conduct a PFAS investigation on the airport property.
Shallow groundwater flows to the south and southeast.
Content updated November 2023.
See an aerial view of the groundwater of the site.
Over the last three years, EGLE and DHHS have sampled a total of 39 homes near the airport. Of the 39 homes, 5 homes had no detections, 29 had detections of PFAS below criteria and 5 homes were above criteria. Homes with detections and exceedances were offered filters. In July of this year, DHHS resampled 25 of the 39 homes, plus sampled two more homes for the first time. EGLE is working with MDHHS and Oakland County Health Department to sample additional residential drinking water wells south of the airport for PFAS.
PFAS filters are used as an interim measure to ensure the protection of public health for homes with private wells. Once the source and extent of the contamination is determined then a feasibility study can be done to look at the economic feasibility of various long-term options such as municipal water or installing deeper residential wells.
The airport's consultant will continue to investigate onsite PFAS groundwater and surface water contamination on the airport property. Groundwater monitoring wells have been installed at the airport and PFAS has been confirmed in the groundwater. Additional sampling will be conducted to delineate the PFAS plume.
- In May 2021, the consultant for the airport began the PFAS investigation collecting eight groundwater samples.
- On June 2, 2021, EGLE's contractor collected drinking water samples from 12 of the 24 homes and business identified during the first phase of residential well sampling. PFAS was detected in 11 wells; only one well exceeded the PFOA criteria of 8 ppt with a detection of 10 ppt.
- On June 24, 2021, the airport's consultant submitted the results from the groundwater investigation that began in April. Six of the eight samples collected exceeded groundwater clean-up criteria for PFAS. The highest result was 4,800 ppt for PFOS.
- On August 5, 2021, EGLE's contractor collected 16 of 18 homes targeted during the second phase of residential well sampling. All 16 of the sampled wells had detections of PFAS with five wells exceeding criteria.
Sampling Results Summary
Type of Sample
Date Sampled (or Range)
Numberof Sample Results Received
Number of Samples above Criteria*
Groundwater Monitoring Wells
May 5, 2021 8 6 Residential Wells June 2021 - Present 28 6
- On April 1, 2022, the airport’s consultant submitted the results from the groundwater investigation. Seven of the right samples collected exceeded groundwater clean-up criteria for PFAS. The highest result was 4,800 ppt for PFOS.
- In July 2023, EGLE’s contractor collected 26 of the 39 homes were resampled for PFAS. This would be the third round of residential well sampling. Water samples were collected pre and post filter. Two homes have detections of PFAS, but no exceedances in criteria.
- On October 31, 2023, the airport’s consultant submitted the results from the groundwater investigation. Fifteen of the 22 samples collected exceeded groundwater clean-up criteria for PFAS. The highest result was 11,000 ppt for PFOS.