“PORTAGE, MI — The city of Portage shut down three wells in what it is calling a ‘proactive’ response to traceable levels of PFAS contaminants detected in three of the municipal water system’s 20 wells…

Portage tested its eight well fields, consisting of 20 total wells, on June 14.

Results received Friday, June 27, showed low levels of the chemicals in three of the wells providing the city’s drinking water.

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality advised Portage officials that ‘no action is needed’ in response to the test results, according to a city of Portage press release.

The city decided to shut down the three wells Saturday, July 28, until further testing is conducted. Those follow-up tests are expected to be completed in about a month.

Shutting down the three wells was a precautionary measure, said Kendra Gwinn, director of the Portage Department of Transportation and Utilities. Further action will be discussed after the three wells are retested.

‘It is important that our customers and residents know we are concerned about getting them clean drinking water,’ Gwinn said.

A source for the trace levels of PFAS contamination in Portage’s water system is not clear, she said.

The location of the wells testing positive for PFAS cannot be disclosed due to security concerns, Gwinn said.

During initial testing, two well fields — one containing a single well and the other containing two — tested above the non-detect level for PFAS. The well field containing two wells returned a result for total PFAS compounds of 13 parts per trillion, while the single-well location tested at 2 ppt.

Those levels of PFAS are below the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency lifetime health advisory of 70 ppt, though that standard is applied to only the combined concentration of two specific PFAS compounds — PFOS and PFOA. Testing in Portage looked at 14 different PFAS compounds and the results of 13 ppt and 2 ppt reflect total concentrations. Specific tests for PFOS and PFOA found no detectable concentration of the two chemicals in any of Portage’s wells.

Gwinn said it was a surprised to find traceable levels of PFAS in Portage after tests conducted in 2013 detected no traces PFAS contamination in Portage water.”

Read the full article by Winter Keefer