Tests: Otsego, Plainwell water OK to drink

Allegan County
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OTSEGO, Mich. (WOOD) — The municipal water in Otsego and Plainwell is safe to drink, health officials say.

On Friday, the Allegan County Health Department said tests of water in Otsego, Plainwell, and Otsego and Gun Plain townships show either no or very low levels of dioxins, furans and PCBs.

The Michigan Department of Human Health says there is no public health hazard.

The state started testing municipal water and private wells in the area earlier this year after residents raised concerns about their drinking water. People have blamed health problems on pollution in years past, particularly by paper mills along the Kalamazoo River. Furans, dioxins and PCBs are all created as byproduct of some types of manufacturing, including making paper.

In September, the state found that 16 wells in Allegan County contained dioxins. As a precaution, MDHHS told the affected homeowners to find another water source and provided bottled water to those who couldn’t. The state also said the levels found so far do not require urgent action.

The state is still awaiting full test results for a total of 56 private wells. MDHHS expects to have the results and inform residents of the findings by the middle of the month.

Health officials have scheduled a town hall meeting to discuss the water situation for 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Oct. 20 at Otsego Middle School. Officials will share test results, address residents’ concerns and talk about what will happen next.

Anyone with a private well who has questions can call 269.673.4546. The county also set up a webpage with the latest information on the situation.

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