Private tests find little to no PFAS around Pierson dump

Toxic Tap Water

PIERSON, Mich. (WOOD) — Private tests of wells and lakes near the Central Sanitary Landfill near Pierson have found little or no PFAS, despite the high levels found in wells within the dump.

Residents and business owners around the landfill began testing their own wells, along with water in nearby Big Whitefish Lake and Bass Lake, after news broke about the landfill contamination in April.

Many had complained in a public meeting in April after the landfill said it would test only the wells of 21 homes immediately adjacent to the dump, in an area that covers about a square mile.

A consultant working for the landfill has begun testing those adjacent homes, but results were not available Thursday.

Trident Labs of Holland, one of two private labs set up to test for PFAS in Michigan, said it has completed up to 30 tests so far, all paid for by residents and businesses. All but one of those was outside the one-mile zone.

The tests found no PFAS in either of the lakes and no PFAS in most of the wells, said Trident Labs Technical Supervisor Lyle Rawlings. The highest readings in a few wells, he said, were 2 parts per trillion, far below the 70 ppt considered unsafe for drinking.

The only test Trident conducted adjacent to the landfill, at a home on Pierson Road, was paid for by Target 8. That test also found nothing.

“It tells me it may not be as severe as initially thought, but it’s not to say they won’t find a plume somewhere at some point,” Rawlings told Target 8 Thursday.

Wolverine Worldwide of Rockford, whose dumping led to widespread PFAS contamination in northern Kent County, dumped at the Pierson landfill for about two decades starting in the 1980s.

Recent tests at some monitoring wells in the landfill itself showed high levels of PFAS, leading to the meeting last month that drew more than 200 anxious residents.

The highest landfill reading, 250 ppt, is more than triple the state’s limit for drinking water.

The state Department of Environmental Quality and landfill officials have said they would widen the test zone if they find PFAS in the nearby wells.

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