PFAS testing results have so far shown no levels above the federal health advisory in Livingston County.

Director of Environmental Health Matt Bolang provided a report related to the PFAS contamination to the Livingston County Board of Commissioners at a recent meeting, as part of his bi-weekly reports to keep the public and officials updated. Per-fluoroalkyl and poly-fluoroalkyl substances, known as PFAS, are chemicals that have been used in firefighting foam and products used for cleaning and personal care. The county is working with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) on testing and sampling.

Per Bolang’s report, 74 of the 81 drinking water wells to be sampled have been completed. Results have been returned for 67 of those sites, all of which Bolang reported have been “non-detect” for PFAS. He says some residential wells will be sampled later this month in the City of Howell, due to their proximity to a chrome-plating factory. There are no plans currently to test other residential wells as Bolang says there are no known issues with groundwater contamination within the county, only surface water. He noted there is the option for residents to conduct their own testing as the state has provided guidance on their website dedicated to efforts being taken to address the contamination. But he says it’s “not cheap”, with the cost estimated to be anywhere between $250 and $475 per sample, as well as hourly rates for technicians.

Bolang did recommend that fish samples be taken from Lake Moraine in Brighton, which the MDEQ carried out on October 29th, with results expected to be returned within a few months. Bolang’s basis for the recommendation is that there were elevated levels discovered in Mann Creek in Brighton Township which feeds into the lake. Additional surface water samples are also being taken from the Huron River Watershed at multiple points to give officials a look at tributary streams.

While PFAS chemicals have been detected locally, Bolang reports there are no sources of the contamination within Livingston County. Following his report, Bolang told commissioners he had no recommendations at this time for the board to act on. More information about the state’s PFAS response efforts can be found through the link below. (DK)