Read the full article by staff reports (Sturgis Journal)

“As part of ongoing monitoring of the perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), the city of Sturgis conducted a routine, annual test on groundwater at Big Hill Road Landfill in 2019.

Although results show PFAS contaminants were below the current water quality standards, results for one PFAS contaminant based on proposed changes to state standards has led the city to conduct additional voluntary testing.

Drinking water in the city of Sturgis is not affected by these test results, officials said.

PFAS is a group of industrial chemicals that have been used world-wide in common consumer products and manufacturing processes. The two PFAS contaminants with current standards monitored by Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy are perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS).

On Oct. 31, 2019, a city-contracted consultant sampled water from the Big Hill landfill groundwater treatment system at three locations and tested for PFAS. Results of the tests were received in late November. At the first testing location, tests showed PFOA levels of 11.5 parts per trillion and PFOS levels of 5.15 ppt. At the second testing location, results showed no detection of PFOA or PFOS. Testing at the outfall water being discharged from the treatment pond showed PFOA levels of 4.1 ppt and no detection of PFOS.

Michigan EGLE currently has two water standards it monitors and enforces related to PFAS that have have impact in the city of Sturgis. The first is a standard for water quality related to surface water. This is considered the standard most relevant to the Big Hill Road landfill site, since water from the treatment pond at the site discharges to surface water at an outfall. The water quality standard for discharge to surface water is 12,000 ppt for PFOA and 12 ppt for PFOS.

The second standard for water quality is related to drinking water. Currently, the state of Michigan has adopted the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency criteria of 70 ppt for PFOA and PFOS combined. The state is in the process of approving drinking water standards for seven PFAS contaminants including PFOA and PFOS. These proposed standards are significantly more restrictive, set at 8 ppt for PFOA and 16 ppt for PFOS. The Big Hill landfill site is not a drinking water site and groundwater from the site does not affect the city’s municipal drinking water system…”