By Mike Kruzman /

Hartland Township has agreed to a new contract for state-mandated monitoring of wells.

When the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy, in a time when they were known as the DEQ- or Department of Environmental Quality, set mandates lowering the allowed limits for sodium and chloride impacts in groundwater, roughly 20 years ago, that put the township in violation. The area affected is where Settler’s Park now stands. The cause came from the old wastewater treatment plant, which discharged onto the site. Township Manager Bob West told the Board of Trustees during their latest meeting, that this discharge is a byproduct of treatment plants.

The state ordered the township to drill 32 wells and perform regular monitoring. They are now down to 8 testing sites on the property. In 2015, elevated levels were then found in the area of Dunham Road and Hartland Road, leading the state to require a residential monitoring system there, as well. West suspected that new construction that has led to increased road salt being used in the area could be to blame for that.

West told the Board that the salt isn’t moving, the limits coming through are low and that this shouldn’t pose any risk to residents. He said, “People often wonder if there is a health concern with this. I would tell you there’s not a health concern unless your doctor has you on some sort of low sodium diet or anything of that nature. The inherent nature of the salt itself does not pose a health risk, because, quite frankly, you would be in-taking more sodium drinking softened water than you would from the raw water from these wells.”

West said that monitoring will likely have to continue until they get below the action limit and stay there for 2 years. The Township then agreed to a 3-year contract extension with Wood Environment & Infrastructure Solutions, which has provided the monitoring service and testing for them since 2012. The extension comes in at just under $51,500, which is $2,600 higher than the original contract, due largely to increased lab costs affecting many in the state.