State confirms City’s testing showing water system low PFAS levels

Published on September 11, 2018

Girl drinking water from a fountain

PFAS levels in Grand Rapids Water System well below safety standards

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Testing results recently released by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) showed PFAS contamination levels in the Grand Rapids Water System were well below safety standards set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other regulatory limits being discussed. 

The MDEQ’s testing results mirrored those of the Grand Rapids Water System’s independent sampling of PFOS and PFOA concentrations previously reported this year. The concentrations of PFOS and PFOA in both the MDEQ and Grand Rapids Water System samples were well below the EPA lifetime health advisory of 70 parts per trillion, or ppt. The Water System previously tested for PFAS independently in 2014, 2015 and 2017 with non-detect results.

Earlier this year, the MDEQ began a proactive statewide testing initiative to test drinking water from all community water supplies.

“We welcome this approach by the MDEQ and we share its commitment to our community’s health,” Grand Rapids Water System Manager Dave Harran said. “We are proud of the high-quality and safe drinking water we provide our customers every day, and we take this responsibility very seriously. Our customers should be confident in the system’s water quality and safety. 

“We will continue to aggressively sample and test our water in accordance with state regulatory requirements and release our results.” 

Specifically, the Grand Rapids Water System’s MDEQ sampling results were:

  • EPA method 537 (only approved method for testing of drinking water) – 2 ppt for PFOA, non-detect for 13 other PFAS contaminants, including PFOS
  • Isotope dilution method (drinking water) – 3 ppt for 6:2 FTS, non-detect for 23 other PFAS contaminants, including PFOS and PFOA
  • Isotope dilution method (source water) – 2 ppt for PFOA, non-detect for 23 other PFAS contaminants, including PFOS

The Grand Rapids Water System draws its source water from Lake Michigan.

“Our test results showed what was expected,” Harran said. “PFAS-related compounds have been in use around Lake Michigan for decades and a very small amount is present. We expect PFAS levels to remain relatively consistent since Lake Michigan is a stable source of water.”

For the MDEQ’s statewide testing results, including the Grand Rapids Water System, CLICK HERE. For more on the Grand Rapids Water System, CLICK HERE.

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