Saginaw-Midland’s Whitestone Point water samples found to be contaminated

No risk to health expected at this time

Posted

WHITNEY TWP. — Water samples collected by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality from the Saginaw-Midland Water Supply Corporation’s Whitestone Point raw water station are contaminated, per a Feb. 21 DEQ notification.

According to Surface Water Treatment Specialist Robert London, who wrote the notification to DEQ Manager Mike Quinnell, samples at Whitestone Point were collected Dec. 7, 2017, and Jan. 11. Samples were collected in response to the detection of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances in drinking water from the city of Au Gres — one of four Saginaw-Midland customers in Arenac County.

London’s letter states there are no regulatory standards for PFAS, but added that in May 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency established a non-regulatory lifetime health advisory for the chemicals. The health advisory for two PFAS — perfluorooctyl sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) limits exposure to 70 parts per trillion, London stated. The EPA recommends the health advisory applies to pregnancy and lactation scenarios, as well as lifetime exposure, according to London.

Results from Whitestone Point, where three samples were taken each of the last two months, were well below 70 ppt. PFOS registered at 0.857, 1.14 and 0.981 ppt in December; and undetected, 0.889 and .545 ppt in January. PFOA levels were 1.45, 1.6 and 1.76 ppt in December; and 0.758, 0.548 and undetected in the three January samples.

“The concentration of PFOA and PFOS in these samples are well below the EPA lifetime health advisory of 70 ppt and are not expected to result in adverse health effects,” London stated.

Because of the uncertainty as to the source of contamination in Lake Huron, the DEQ had four recommendations to the water supply company in dealing with the contamination source. London recommended continued PFAS monitoring by Saginaw-Midland on a quarterly basis to demonstrate the levels remain below lifetime health advisories, sampling and monitoring of treated water by communities serviced by Saginaw-Midland, notifying the public of results and taking steps to minimize lifetime exposure.

The cities of Au Gres, Omer and Standish and the Sims-Whitney Water Authority are Saginaw-Midland customers.

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