Read the full article by Kirk Mason

“Imagine not knowing if the water in your house is safe for you and your children, and even worse you have been giving your kids that water for years.

That is the burden faced by some families with private wells in Kalamazoo County.

During the summer, we learned about per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination in Parchment’s water. Living nearby are homes on private wells that have not been tested for PFAS. One of those homes belongs to the Watsons in Cooper Township.

Brian and Nicole Watson have three young children, including a baby. All of their children, including baby Colin had been drinking the water.

‘You do not necessarily worry about it with yourself,’ Nicole Watson said. ‘But we have him and he’s been bottle fed since the day he was born.’

When Michigan leaders learned that Parchment’s water was contaminated with an unsafe level of PFAS, the Watsons took notice. They immediately stopped using tap water to make Colin’s bottle. They even stopped letting their children drink the water at all.

The Watsons are about two miles from contaminated wells in Parchment. They do not know if their well is contaminated, but they do know their children had been drinking that water, in some cases, for years.

‘For our daughter, it was two years; for our son, most of his life; and for Colin it has been every single day,’ Nicole Watson said.

Brian Watson said there are bigger worries.

‘The biggest thing is, it is not a short-term thing either,’ he said. ‘What they think this PFAS thing can do to children long-term, that is what is scary.’ “