Target 8 finds no PFAS in Pierson well

Toxic Tap Water

PIERSON, Mich. (WOOD) — Nicholas and Charlene Schultz worried that PFAS, a likely carcinogen, was leaking from the Pierson landfill right next door and into their well. It’s a fear shared by many neighbors.

They wondered: Could it be the reason their 6-month-old son Nicholas weighed less than 6 pounds when he was born and hasn’t grown much? They were afraid the water was contaminating the pigs and chicken they’re raising for their family.

On Thursday, a test paid for by Target 8 eased their fears.

The test analyzed by Trident Labs in Holland found no PFAS in their well water.

“That is the best news we’ve had in a while because we were really worried about it,” Nicholas Schultz said after Target 8 shared the results.

Target 8 took the sample last Friday from an outside faucet at their home on Pierson Road, about half a mile from Central Sanitary Landfill. 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 a meeting last week that drew more than 200 anxious residents.

A consultant for the landfill has started testing wells at nearby homes, including the Schultzes, and provided bottled water. But they are sending their samples to an out-of-state lab and aren’t expecting results for at least a month.

Target 8 followed instructions and used a kit provided by Trident labs. The lab is one of two in the state now testing water for PFAS.

A week and $250 later, Target 8 got the results.

“It’s 100 percent negative,” Trident’s Lyle Rawlings said. “Quite frankly, I’m surprised.”

Trident also is testing water from more than a dozen other wells near the landfill, many of them from nearby Big Whitefish Lake.

“The way groundwater works, you never know which direction it’s going to go from the landfill,” Rawlings said. “These people are lucky that it’s not going toward their house, apparently. For others in the area, you never know.”

Rawlings said he expects results from other wells near the landfill sometime next week.

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