Test results find PFAS in some Van Buren Co. wells

HARTFORD TOWNSHIP, Mich. — Test results are starting to come in from a Van Buren County community as part of an investigation into a PFAS contamination site.

The Michigan Department of Environmental, Great Lakes and Energy launched the investigation after finding PFAS levels as high as 8,690 parts per trillion on the grounds of Du-Wel Metal Products.

About 60 private wells were tested, and 11 were found to contain PFAS, a man-made chemical that can cause cancer and other health complications.

The highest level of contamination was around 900 ppt, well above the federal standard of 70 ppt.

The state’s health department has been giving filters to residents with well that tested positive for PFAS, which are able to filter out anything below 1,500 ppt. Those households have also been provided with bottled water.

Larry Merrit lives next door to what used to be the Du-Wel plant, and he is worried the testing hasn’t been expansive enough.

He’s concerned water that sits in a hole in his backyard for days could be polluting nearby Pine Creek.

“That’s all running into the creek,” Merrit said. “The creek has run into Paw Paw River, and I just worry about this polluting going further down."

EGLE has tested the municipal water supply that goes to every home connected to city water, and no PFAS was detected.

To this point, EGLE’s focus has been on testing drinking wells, but officials say they’re now looking into surface water testing.

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