“AU GRES, MI — Low levels of toxic flourochemicals have been verified in a seven-county Lake Huron bulk drinking water supply system that serves more than 260,000 people in Midland, Saginaw, Bay City and dozens of other Michigan communities.

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality disclosed the discovery of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances called PFAS or PFCs in the Saginaw-Midland Municipal Water Supply Corporation (SMMWSC) system on Wednesday, Feb. 21.

The municipal utility system draws Lake Huron water through two intakes off Whitestone Point near Au Gres, where the contaminants were discovered in finished water last year.

Total PFAS in Au Gres water tested at 9.7 parts per trillion (ppt), according to a Dec. 13, 2017 letter by DEQ external relations director Sue Leeming. Of that, 4-ppt was combined PFOS and PFOA.

DEQ collected “verification” samples Dec. 7 and Jan. 11 from the utility’s water intake line and two major pipelines. Low PFAS levels were found in every sample.

Total PFAS in raw water ranged from 1.3-ppt to 5.3-ppt in the sampling rounds. The highest combined PFOS and PFOA sample was 2.7-ppt…

‘Obviously, there’s a big concern about Rockford and the air base to the north of here in Oscoda,’ Quinnell said, referencing the PFAS contamination caused by Wolverine World Wide waste dumping in Kent County and U.S. Air Force groundwater pollution caused by firefighting foam used at the former Wurtsmith Air Force base.

PFAS from Wurtsmith and upstream at Camp Grayling has been draining to the Au Sable River and Lake Huron since the military began using AFFF firefighting foam in the 1970s.”

Read the full article by Garret Ellison.