MT. PLEASANT, Mich. – The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) has been testing drinking water from all community water supplies across the state. This test is looking for a group of manmade chemicals called per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). MDEQ is taking this precautionary step of testing these drinking water sources to determine if public health actions are needed. Below is information provided by the MDEQ.
What is PFAS?
It is not uncommon to find low levels of PFAS in drinking water supplies, as PFAS can be found in fire-fighting foams, stain repellants, nonstick cookware, waterproof clothing, food wrappers, and many other household products. They do not break down in the environment and move easily into water.
Who paid for the initial testing?
Funding for the initial testing was provided by legislation signed by Governor Rick Snyder as a supplemental appropriation for the current fiscal year.
Who conducted the initial testing?
The MDEQ contracted with AECOM, a private environmental firm to conduct the statewide sampling.
Municipal Sample Testing Dates
As reported on October 10, 2018, The City of Mt. Pleasant, Charter Township of Union and the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe were scheduled to be tested separately during the week of October 15, 2018. These tests were all conducted on October 18, 2018. If you are unsure of who your water system/provider is, please refer to your water bill.
Lifetime Health Advisory levels set by Environment Protection Agency
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set a lifetime health advisory (LHA) level for two PFAS in drinking water, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS). The LHA level is 70 parts per trillion (ppt, which is the equivalent of one drop of water in 20 Olympic-size swimming pools) for PFOA and PFOS combined, or individually if only one is present. The State of Michigan is using 70 ppt for decision making purposes.
The following test results were provided by the MDEQ and can be found on the Michigan PFAS Action Response Team website, www.michigan.gov/pfasresponse.
City of Mt. Pleasant Test Results: The City of Mt. Pleasant’s results show that of the PFOA and PFOS tested, a non-detect level was found in the water. This level is below the EPA’s lifetime health advisory of 70 ppt.
Can I drink the water?
With the information available at this time, and the test results received from MDEQ, there is no reason to believe the water is unsafe to drink. If you have individual concerns, please refer to the Updated Water Information section provided below.
Charter Township of Union test results have not yet been received from the MDEQ.
The Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe test results have not yet been received from the MDEQ.
Updated Water Information
Updated water information can be found on the Central Michigan Health Department website at https://www.cmdhd.org/ or by calling the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services at 1-800-648-6942 or the MDEQ Environmental Assistance Center at 1-800-662-9278.
For information on PFAS including possible health outcomes, visit these websites:
- State of Michigan PFAS Action Response Team (MPART) website serving as the main resource for public information on PFAS contamination in Michigan michigan.gov/pfasresponse
- Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ASTDR) website including health information, exposure, and links to additional resources atsdr.cdc.gov/pfas
- United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) website including basic information, U.S. EPA actions, and links to informational resources epa.gov/pfas.