High PFOS result near Deerfield Filtration Plant intake due to lab error

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) late Tuesday contacted Sen. Dale W. Zorn, Rep. Bronna Kahle, the village of Deerfield, and the Lenawee County Health Department to inform them that a high result in late August of PFOS contamination in surface water at the intake of the Deerfield Filtration Plant was due to a lab error at the Vista Labs facility in California.

“I want to remind residents that the treated drinking water showed no evidence of PFOS, so there was never an issue to their water,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “While the summer notification for area families was unfortunate, it is always best to be safe rather than sorry when it comes to our drinking water.”

Perfluorooctane sulfonic acid, or PFOS, can lead to adverse human health effects. Laboratory results received on Aug. 30 detected PFOS in a sample collected from EGLE’s monthly PFAS testing of the surface water at the intake to the Deerfield Filtration Plant. EGLE continues to test all public water systems with surface water intakes on a monthly basis.

The department said it is currently collecting weekly samples from Deerfield, Blissfield, Frenchtown and Monroe and results will continue to be monitored.

“All Michigan families should have access to clean drinking water,” said Kahle, of Adrian. “Although the residents of Deerfield now have the peace of mind that their water is safe, I am going to continue working hard to get answers from the state about the situation and to pass important reforms to improve our PFOS and PFAS testing.”

In 2017, the state created the Michigan PFAS Action Response Team (MPART), which is leading state efforts in finding and managing the presence of these chemicals in local water systems and our response to their discovery. For more information, including test results, visit www.Michigan.gov/PFASresponse.

In June, Kahle led a bipartisan group of legislators introducing new reforms to Michigan’s PFAS/PFOS testing and response system. The groundwater quality package includes her bill, House Bill 4745, to deliver critical resources to the MPART effort and fund geological surveys that can find contamination before it enters municipal water systems.

Zorn and Kahle highlighted that the budget approved by the Legislature on Tuesday includes Senate Bill 137, which features $120 million for drinking water protections, including funds to address PFAS and other emerging contaminants and for a new private well testing grant program.