Plainfield Twp. OKs purchase of PFAS filter

Municipal water system has not been found to have high levels of likely carcinogen

Plainfield Township
The Nov. 13, 2017, meeting of the Plainfield Township board.

PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Plainfield Township will buy a filtration system to strip any traces of PFAS, a likely carcinogen at the center of a toxic tap water crisis affecting residential wells north of Grand Rapids, from the municipal water system.

On Monday, the township board OK’d spending up to $400,000 on the filtration system, Township Superintendent Cameron Van Wyngarden said.

“We have been exploring plant PFAS filtration options for some time now, and have already met with one company that has a promising option for us,” Van Wyngarden wrote in a Tuesday email to 24 Hour News 8, adding township leaders would meet with a second company this week.

Van Wyngarden stressed that the township water system already meets quality standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency and Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.

“…But,” he added, “we are not satisfied until we are assured that we are providing the best possible water to our community.”

About 40,000 people use the township’s water system, which has reported levels of more than 10 parts per trillion of PFAS. That’s well below the EPA’s advisory limit of 70 parts per trillion, but residents want the figure to be zero.

All the homes in Plainfield and Algoma townships that have been found to have high levels of PFAS draw their water from wells. The contamination has been blamed on waste dumped decades ago by Rockford-based shoe manufacturer Wolverine Worldwide. The PFAS was in the Scotchgard Wolverine used for waterproofing. Wolverine has been providing clean water to hundreds of homes in affected areas.

The township says it is also working to extend municipal water to the areas around Wolverine’s former House Street dump, where many of the contaminated wells have been found. That work is planned for next year. The township wants Wolverine to pay for it, but the company has yet to agree.

>>Inside woodtv.com: Complete coverage of the toxic tap water investigation

RESOURCES FOR BELMONT RESIDENTS:

If you are eligible for a whole-house water filtration system from Wolverine Worldwide, you can call 616.866.5627 or email HouseStreet@wwwinc.com.

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality Environmental Assistance Center can be reached at 1.800.662.9278.

Websites with additional information on the contamination: