PFC contamination expanding as water well testing continues

Originally posted on November 2, 2016


OSCODA – A public meeting was hosted by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) on Tuesday, Oct. 25 to update the community on developments and ways government agencies are working to protect public health in the face of groundwater contamination from perflourinated chemicals (PFCs), affecting drinking water wells in Oscoda.

PFCs originating from the former Wurtsmith Air Force Base are from the prior use of aqueous film forming foam (AFFF), used in quenching aircraft fires for a period of time since at least the 1970s. The foam was disposed of in the ground at the time and since then, it has been found to be toxic and not break down, remaining in the ground and leaching in to groundwater.

Previously thought to not cross natural water boundaries, such as rivers, creeks and lakes, testing by the Department of Environmental Quality personnel (DEQ), shows plumes have crossed under Van Etten Lake, heading east and reaching Lake Huron.

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