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PFAS has consistently made headlines across Michigan in recent years as communities uncover this concerning group of chemicals in their environments. The discovery of PFAS in the Grand River has recently gained considerable attention in the Jackson area. The City of Jackson would like water customers to know that while these findings are troubling, they are not known to impact the quality of our drinking water. It is also important to note that the source of the contamination is not from the City, but a closed plating company near the river.
In January, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality tested water from the Grand River in the Jackson area and confirmed that PFAS chemicals are in the river. The DEQ found the highest PFAS levels around an industrial site near the river, which is the former location of Michner Plating. PFAS contamination and other pollutants were identified at the site several years ago, prompting an emergency cleanup from the Environmental Protection Agency. State officials continue to look for ways to secure the site and are currently investigating to see how these chemicals got into the river. Reports indicate that PFAS levels in the river are not currently high enough to trigger a clean-up. The former Michner Plating location is the only active PFAS investigation in the Jackson area. However, some concerns have been raised for those who rely on groundwater near the river.
The City of Jackson wants water customers to know that the City does not use the Grand River or local groundwater for its water supply. The City uses a large underground aquifer in Mid-Michigan that is deep below the surface.
Tests show that the City of Jackson’s water supply has not been impacted by PFAS. The DEQ tested a sample of Jackson’s tap water last July. After rigorous testing, the state did not find any PFAS in our water supply. Furthermore, tests of treated water that is being put into the Grand River from the wastewater treatment has shown no signs of the chemicals.
The City of Jackson will continue to work with the DEQ to monitor the site and the City’s water supply, along with making sure polluters are held accountable for endangering our environments. Customers who have questions may contact the City of Jackson Department of Public Works at 517-788-4170.