“COOPER TOWNSHIP, MI — Thirteen residential wells were found to contain toxic compounds that exceed a federal health advisory for drinking water.

Friday, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality released results of private well tests in Cooper Township, which show 86 homes are contaminated with some amount of per- and polyflouroalkyl substances known as PFAS. Private wells in Parchment and the township were tested after high amounts of PFAS were found entering Parchment’s water supply on July 26.

Homes within a 1-mile radius of Parchment’s contaminated groundwater wells were tested. Most are within a wellhead protection area established in 1994.

Results for 107 homes were released on Aug. 17, while the DEQ waits for results to come back for an additional 40 homes. All homes in the study area are being supplied with bottled water.

The most-contaminated well showed 340 parts-per-trillion of total PFAS and 209 ppt for two other compounds, PFOS and PFOA. Results showed contamination at the well is almost three times greater than an EPA lifetime health advisory of 70 ppt for PFOS and PFOA.

The highest concentrations of PFAS were found in wells between Collingwood Avenue and Riverview Drive. Two wells west of 20th Street, near a shuttered Crown Vantage paper mill, two landfills and wastewater lagoons used to dump paper waste, are highly contaminated.

DEQ spokesperson Scott Dean said the most-contaminated well is also the closest to the paper mill, which is considered to be a source of PFAS by the state. Documents released this week showed the paper mill used PFAS manufactured by 3M in 1994.

Garry Burnham lives across the street from the landfills. He said 148 parts-per-trillion of PFAS was found in his groundwater well. It’s more than twice an EPA lifetime health advisory of 70 ppt, established for PFOA and PFOS, two PFAS compounds.

Across the street from his house at the corner of Remus Street and Everhard Avenue sits two landfills, a wastewater treatment plant and wastewater lagoons used by paper companies in Parchment…

Another private well on McKinley Street also tested above the federal health advisory. Dean said the DEQ is working to understand why high amounts of PFOS and PFOA were found there, and additional samples were taken from nearby wells.”

Read the full article by Malachi Barrett