“PARCHMENT, MI — Individual tests results of groundwater wells that send drinking water to Parchment and parts of Cooper Township showed one well with levels of PFAS 26 times higher than a federal health advisory.

An estimated 3,100 people using Parchment’s municipal water supply were told late Thursday, July 26, to immediately stop drinking the water after high levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances were discovered in the municipal water source. Earlier that day, a test where water entered the system came back showing total PFAS of 1,587 parts per trillion.

The Department of Environmental Quality sampled each individual well on July 26 and expedited the tests to be available this week. According to DEQ spokesperson Scott Dean, total PFAS was found at a range between 279 ppt and 2,150 ppt in the three wells.

A test at well #2, one of two original wells built in 1963, found 991 ppt of PFOS and 848 ppt of PFOA. This level is 26 times higher than the EPA lifetime health advisory of 70-ppt for total PFOS and PFOA.

‘I’m not an expert, but given the close proximity of the three wells I don’t think it gives much detail on the plume,’ Dean said in an email.

The city of Parchment pumps water from a wellfield near the east bank of the Kalamazoo River in Cooper Township. Two wells were built in 1963 and a third came online in 1973, ranging in depth from 51.5 to 58 feet.

Results at each of the wells found total PFAS at levels above the EPA health advisory.

A test at well #1, the southernmost water source, found 217 PFOA and 164 PFOS.

A test at well #3, the youngest and northernnmost well, found 146 PFOA and 91 PFAS…

A Monday release from the Kalamazoo County Health and Community Services Department states the Department of Environmental Quality identified an area where PFAS may have been used. The DEQ will begin testing water at that location Tuesday…

Kalamazoo Deputy City Manager Jeff Chamberlain said it will connect the two water systems, allowing Parchment’s system to be fed by Kalamazoo’s drinking water supply.

Chamberlain said it’s an ‘interim step’ while both cities work to flush contaminated water from Parchment’s water system and find a long-term solution. He isn’t sure how long either project will take, but residents shouldn’t ingest water from the tap until tests show PFAS levels below an EPA health advisory.

Private wells within a one-mile radius of the city of Parchment’s groundwater aquifers — established as an initial study area by the DEQ — are being tested to determine if residents who aren’t hooked up to the municipal water system are at risk of contamination.”

Read the full article by Malachi Barrett