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Southwest Ottawa County Landfill Superfund Site (Park Township, Ottawa 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 May 2022.

EGLE Site Lead

Courtney Fung, or 517-242-0008.


The 43-acre Southwest Ottawa County Landfill located at 2901 North 160th Avenue operated as a state licensed landfill, until its closure in 1981.  The landfill was constructed and began operation by Ottawa County in 1968 and received solvents, heavy metals, sludge, oils, municipal refuse, and drums containing unspecified wastes. Major contaminants in the groundwater included: volatile organic compounds and iron. All of the contaminants were present at levels above the state's criteria. The site was added to the Superfund National Priorities List in September 1983.

Groundwater contamination occurs in an unconfined sand aquifer. The Ottawa County Road Commission (OCRC) has been operating a groundwater treatment system since 1987. Groundwater monitoring and methane gas monitoring continue to document the conditions of groundwater and methane gas downgradient and around the landfill property.

In 2020, EGLE requested that OCRC conduct PFAS sampling to help assess proposed modifications to the treatment system.

Despite a groundwater use restriction ordinance that covers the Site and the downgradient groundwater plume, private wells exist downgradient of the Site. EGLE is working with local health and MDHHS to determine if there are any residential wells that need to be sampled.

Since the Site is located upgradient of Lake Michigan, the Site's groundwater is monitored for compliance with the Part 201 Groundwater Surface Water Interface (GSI) Criteria for discharging to a drinking water source. The 2020 PFAS sampling results indicated groundwater concentrations above GSI criteria. However, the nature and extent of the PFAS groundwater plume has not yet been fully characterized. Additionally, OCRC has a permit to discharge treated groundwater to Lake Michigan. At this time, the treatment system meets all requirements for discharge water quality standards. EGLE staff are evaluating appropriate monitoring frequencies and discharge limits of the treatment system for PFAS.

Map of SW Ottawa County Landfill Figures 1 Map of SW Ottawa Landfill PFAS Figures 2

Recent Accomplishments

  • In March 2022, OCRC initiated a short-term wastewater characterization study (STWCS) to analyze for PFAS in the influent and effluent from the Site’s groundwater treatment system. The duration of the STWCS is 7 months and the data from this study will help determine the Site’s compliance with discharge permitting requirements.

Next Steps

  • EGLE staff will continue discussions with OCRC regarding PFAS sampling locations and frequency for the permanent groundwater monitoring well network. OCRC will develop a work plan for EGLE staff review and approval. Recommendations for additional PFAS sampling are pending.

Residential Well/Alternate Water

  • Municipal water has been provided to residents within the Groundwater Use Restriction Ordinance Area. EGLE is working with local health and MDHHS to determine if there are any residential wells that need to be sampled.

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*

Groundwater Monitoring Wells

August 2020 - October 2021 15 11
* Residential well and groundwater monitoring well results are compared to EGLE Part 201 criteria for 7 PFAS compounds effective 12/21/2020:  PFOS (16 parts per trillion [ppt]), PFOA (8 ppt), PFNA (6 ppt), PFHxS (51 ppt), PFHxA (400,000 ppt), PFBS (420 ppt), and HFPO-DA (370 ppt).

Sampling Notes

  • OCRC reported PFAS results for 9 PFAS compounds (PFBA, PFBS, PFHpA, PFHxA, PFHxS, PFOA, PFOS, PFPeA, PFPeS).