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Elkenburg Area of Interest (South Haven, Van Buren County)

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Please contact the Site Lead for the most up-to-date status of this site.

EGLE site lead

Rachel Golota, or 269-370-2404.


Elkenburg Area of Interest (AOI) is located along the north side of Elkenburg Street in South Haven where PFAS has been detected over groundwater criteria, however the source of the contamination has yet to be identified. Two locations being investigated included 125 Elkenburg and 229 Elkenburg.

Historically, 125 Elkenburg hosted the former Hamlin-Overton Company operations, locally known as the Belgravia site. The plant was built in 1916 and was used for pipe organ assembly, picture frame construction, woodworking, and cyanide-based metal plating. During later years of the company's operation, plating wastes, paint thinners, and chlorinated solvent degreasers were discharged to floor drains, and to a septic tank and drain field located about 20 feet north of the building. The business closed around 1979, and the Hamlin-Overton Company filed for bankruptcy.

EGLE has oversight of this location, and due to historical contamination, sampled groundwater wells for PFAS. One groundwater monitoring well MW-40 was found to contain PFOA at concentration of 24 ppt.

S.E. Overton Company was located at 229 Elkenburg and was built in the early 1900s. The S.E. Overton Company manufactured wooden molding, furniture, gun stocks, and other specialty wood products. In 1995 the property was bought and used as a rental property for warehousing and light manufacturing, including the manufacturing of tarps. The site was foreclosed on in 2006 and the building was later razed.

An ELGE brownfield site assessment began in January 2023 to evaluate contamination in the soil and groundwater to support redevelopment of the property for residential use. PFAS was sampled at six groundwater monitoring wells and five soil borings. Three groundwater monitoring wells exceeded criteria for one or more PFAS. The highest concentration was at MW-5, which had 43 ppt PFOS.

Groundwater flow is to the northwest, towards Lake Michigan. Contaminated groundwater is likely in contact with the storm sewer lines. One section of the storm sewer pipe has been lined to prevent contaminated groundwater from impacting surface water.

Content posted February 2023.

Site map

See an aerial view of the location of the site.

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Drinking water

The area is serviced by municipal water. EGLE, DHHS, and local health evaluated well logs and didn't find any nearby residential wells.

Anticipated activities

EGLE is working with the City of South Haven to evaluate the groundwater contamination as development occurs.