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The original item was published from 11/28/2018 3:28:00 PM to 12/22/2018 12:00:04 AM.

News Flash

City of Portland News

Posted on: November 28, 2018


Water Testing


The Michigan PFAS Action Response Team (MPART) is in the process of a statewide initiative to test drinking water from community water supplies. The test is looking for a group of manmade chemicals called per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). PFAS are a group of industrial chemicals that have been used world-wide in common consumer products and manufacturing processes. PFAS can be found in fire-fighting foams, stain repellants, nonstick cookware, waterproof clothing, food wrappers, and many other household products.

Two PFAS chemicals are perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS). PFOA and PFOS have potential health implications when present in drinking water at concentrations above health advisory levels. The EPA has set a lifetime health advisory (LTHA) level for PFOA and PFOS in drinking water. The LTHA level is 70 parts per trillion (ppt) for PFOA and PFOS combined. Other PFAS compounds do not have LTHA levels. The State of Michigan is using 70 ppt for decision making purposes.

We obtain our regular drinking water supply from three groundwater wells: PW-4, PW-6 and PW-7. The City also maintains an emergency well: PW-5. PW-5 was taken out of regular service over 20 years ago and is only used in emergency and stand-by situations.

On September 25, 2018, a Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) contractor collected a sample of water from our three production wells and one standby well. Today, we received the results that reported no PFAS was detected in our primary wells PW-4, PW-6 and PW-7. PFAS at 4 parts per trillion (ppt) was detected in our standby well, PW-5. This level is over 17 times below the MDEQ standard of 70 ppt.

In response to this result, the City has been working closely with MDEQ, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHSS), and our Engineer, Fleis & VandenBrink (F&V). Despite the low level (4ppt) and not being in regular service, I directed that PW-5 be taken completely off-line pending results of re-testing to confirm the MDEQ results.

General information on PFAS in drinking water from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and other resources can be found on our website. If you need additional information, please feel free to contact me directly at (517) 647-2931 or at the email address below.

S. Tutt Gorman
City Manager

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