Township approves $400k to install PFAS filter at water plant
Doug Van Essen, attorney for the township, told the meeting crowd that Plainfield Township’s water treatment plant could have a carbon filtration system installed in "the next couple of months."
The move toward filtration has been pushed by local concerns about PFAS at any level in drinking water as the investigation into old Wolverine World Wide tannery waste dumps spreads to new areas and more homes undergo private well testing.
The Environmental Protection Agency has a lifetime health advisory level for PFOS and PFOA in drinking water of 70-parts-per-trillion (ppt), which is a non-enforceable threshold that Plainfield’s water does not exceed.
Nonetheless, restaurants on township water have begun serving bottled water or installing filtration systems as contamination concerns have spread.
As has been the case with board meetings in Plainfield Township this fall, Monday’s meeting drew a crowd there to voice concern about the water supply safety and question board members.
Cody Angell, an organizer with the group Demand Action, said afterwards that "something is better than nothing" in regards to water filtration, but the concern is wider than PFAS.
"We’re not here just for PFAS," he said.
The site, now the Boulder Creek Golf Course, is right across the river from the Versluis wells.
Township resident Mike Maguire echoed the concern about the potential for other contaminants in township water, but defended township officials, saying that residents should be taking health concerns to the Kent County Health Department or the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.
Township trustee Ben Greene said "we are not where I want to be with the water system" but that approval of a PFAS filtrations system is movement in the right direction.