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Is My Water Safe? Macomb County Residents Concerned About Industrial Chemicals

July 30, 2018 - 10:25 am

CHESTERFIELD TWP. (WWJ) - With a water emergency continuing in southwest Michigan, some Macomb County residents are worried the same contaminants are in their water.

Chesterfield Township offices have been receiving calls regarding so-called PFAS, industrial chemicals that have been detected in the water system serving Parchment and Cooper, near Kalamazoo.

Chesterfield Township officials say PFAS tests by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality -- from the township's source water and tap water from the Lake Huron and Northeast Water Treatment Plants -- have come back as "not detected."   

The tests were part of an effort announced in May to check for contamination in Michigan's 1,380 public water systems.

Macomb County state representative Peter Lucido says there is growing concern over PFAS which is used at every U.S. Air Force Base, including the Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Harrison Township, which borders Chesterfield.

He's introducing legislation that would ban PFAS use statewide.

"I'm talking about Macomb County, I'm talking about specifically about the shoreline and I'm talking about beaches that children swim at," he said. "I'm talking about the boaters that jump into the water. It's everything. And that water is our safe harbor for our economy here in Macomb County."

The Michigan Legislature has already enacted $23 million in emergency spending to address contamination by PFAS chemicals, which have been used in many consumer products including carpeting, clothing, upholstery, food paper wrappings and fire-fighting foams.

To learn more about PFAS, what Michigan is doing about it, and possible associated health concerns, visit the Michigan PFAS Action Response Team (MPART) website -- which is the primary resource for public information on PFAS contamination in Michigan AT THIS LINK.

Residents with questions related to the statewide PFAS sampling effort, can contact the DEQ via email at DEQ-PFAS-DrinkingWater@michigan.gov, call the Environmental Assistance Center at 1-800-662-9278, or call your local Public Works office. 

On Friday, more than 3,000 cases of bottled water were handed out in Cooper and Parchment where over 3,000 people have been told to stop drinking or cooking with the water after high levels of PFAS were found. 

[MORE: 2 Michigan Communities Told To Stop Using Contaminated Water]