Ottawa County provides update on groundwater study

Ottawa County water quality

WEST OLIVE, MICH. - Kent isn't the only county keeping an eye on its clean water. Ottawa County held an all day forum to address its water quality. 

Over the last four years, with the help of MSU, Ottawa County has been taking a look at its groundwater and getting a better understanding of what's in it. 

Ottawa County officials told a group at the 12 Annual Water Quality Forum they waned to analyze any trends found in static water levels as well as chloride contamination in wells. When static water levels decline they're not getting replenished, which in turn increases sodium chloride in water.

While chloride isn't considered a contaminant, it's still something county officials want to be cautious of.

"250 parts per million on sodium chloride are the levels that are determined unsatisfactory for drinking water standards but, sodium chloride concentrations are not necessarily considered a contaminant," Paul Sachs with the Ottawa County Department of Planning and Performance Improvement said.

"So the policies in the area are different, so that's an area we need to look at and assess. We have some legal discussions that need to occur, what can we do if this is not considered a contaminant, but we know that there's a factor in drinking water consumption."

Sachs says their study still has a long way to go. They need to get a better understanding of irrigation techniques, land use designations, and testing in new wells. 

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