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Several hundred Cascade Township residents in line for city water hookups due to PFAS in private wells

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State of Michigan
Hundreds of homes to be connected to Grand Rapids city water due to PFAS in private wells.

Hundreds of residents of a township near the Grand Rapids airport could be connected to the city of Grand Rapids drinking water system soon.

That's after regulators detected levels of PFAS above the state's Maximum Level of Concern in dozens of private wells.

Benjamin Swayze is Cascade Charter Township manager.

He says many residents were already familiar with PFAS contamination problems in Michigan.

"Especially on this side of the state, the Wolverine World Wide PFAS situation in northern Kent County really had been news about a year, year and a half before our issue came to light," he said.

State funds of about $6.65 million will pay for the first phase, connecting about 240 homes to city water.

Federal funds of about $7.2 million are expected to be forthcoming for phase 2 for more than 200 additional homes.

The contamination is linked to firefighting foams used by the airport in Grand Rapids.

Swayze says a contractor has been selected for phase one of the project, and work to install the water main will likely begin in September.

Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Radio. She began her career at Michigan Radio as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.
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