PFAS testing expands in Richland Township

Toxic Tap Water
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RICHLAND TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — More wells in Kalamazoo County will be tested for PFAS, a likely carcinogen and emerging contaminant that has recently been found in West Michigan.

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality will test 26 more private wells in Richland Township, northeast of Kalamazoo. The testing is centered around the former Production Plated Plastics facility on East D Avenue.

Several wells in that area have already been tested and PFAS levels above the state standard and federal advisory limit have been found in some. The goal of the additional testing is to find out how far the PFAS plume has spread and in what direction.

The Kalamazoo County Health & Community Services Department said it would start sending out letters this week to residents whose private wells need to be tested. In the meantime, residents may still drink their water.

DEQ employees and contractors conducting the testing will be carrying state-issued badges. Those badges should be easily visible and residents should ask to see them. 

Results should be back within a month of the tests.

The testing in Richland Township is separate from the PFAS crisis response underway in nearby Parchment.

The Parchment municipal system was found last month to be contaminated with high levels of PFAS, and private wells in the area are also being tested. Officials said Monday that tests for 102 private have come back, but the results will not be released publicly.

Bottled water distribution continues daily from noon to 8 p.m. at Parchment High School for Parchment and Cooper Township residents. You can also recycle empty bottles there.

The first of three stations connecting Parchment’s system to Kalamazoo’s system is finished and the second is under construction. Tests for PFAS and other contaminants will have to come back clean for four days in a row before people can start drinking from their taps again.

Parchment and Cooper Township residents with questions can call the Parchment Water Hotline at 269.373.5356 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays. That hotline took 32 calls Friday.

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