State finds more homes with contaminated water in Belmont

State officials found more homes with contaminated private water wells.

BELMONT, MICH., - State officials found more homes with contaminated private water wells near the old Wolverine Worldwide dumpsite in Plainfield Township. Officials alerted families over the weekend.

The fluorinated per/polyfluoroalkyl substances, called PFAS, were initially found in 21 residences on House Street in Plainfield Township where the well-known shoemaker dumped sludge from its tannery throughout the 1960s. Expanded testing found multiple properties on Chandler Drive with high levels of the unregulated toxicants.

The Environmental Protection Agency's maximum advisory level for PFAS is 70 parts per trillion. Kristi Meyerholtz, who lives in the 7000 block of Chandler Dr. with her husand and four children, got word that her house tested at 120 parts per trillion.

"Knowing that we've been in the house for as long as we have and raising our kids on this water -- it's really, really scary," Meyerholtz said.

Meyerholtz's cousin Lisa Ingrahm lives next door. Her home hit an extremely high 10,320 parts per trillion.

"My older dog has a lot of tumors," Ingrahm said. "I don't know if it's truly related, [but] it's kind of scary."

Both the Ingrahm and the Meyerholtz families stopped drinking their well water in early September when initial reports of contamination surfaced.

Wolverine Worldwide issued this statement Monday after the expanded testing:

While the testing and investigation continues, we continue to assist neighbors by providing bottled water and kitchen drinking water filters certified for PFAS removal as we seek longer-term solutions.  In addition, as a next step, Wolverine is providing whole-house water filtration systems to homeowners whose wells have tested over the EPA-advisory level for drinking water."

The Meyerholtz family received some bottled water and gift cards from Wolverine Worldwide. But they had to buy their own water dispenser and spent nearly 400 dollars on water in September and October.

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality is expanding testing to a buffer zone of around 200 homes in the Belmont area. Plainfield Township Superintendent Cameron Van Wyngarden said the township will provide the affected homes with a line to municipal water when testing and evaluation are complete. 

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