Test showed of the City of Saline’s drinking water showed no traces of PFOA or PFAS – a persistent toxic chemical that which, evidence suggests, can lead to adverse human health effects.
The results were welcomed by city staff – as they came only a few days after it was revealed PFAS was detected in the effluent of the city’s wastewater treatment plant.
“The City of Saline is extremely pleased to announce that the results from the recent MDEQ sampling of the City of Saline treated drinking water have been received and the results are below the level of detection,” City Manager Todd Campbell said.
Tests show no detection of PFOA and PFAS or 12 similar compounds analyzed.
The city’s water is sourced from groundwater and there’s no expectation that PFAS will pollute the aquifer in the future, Campbell said.
The MDEQ is recommending annual tests for PFAS in the city’s water supply.
While city officials were happy to see no contaminants in the drinking water, more tests are needed to determine the source of the chemical in the city’s wastewater treatment plant effluent.
In the summer, the City of Saline ordered tests for its drinking water and wastewater effluent. The contaminant is linked to high cholesterol, changes in the body's hormones and immune system, decreased fertility and increased risk of some cancers. In August, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services issued an advisory that all fish in the Huron River were unsafe to eat due to PFAS contamination.
City Manager Todd Campbell presented a summary of the findings at Monday's Saline City Council meeting. Results of the drinking water study weren't in yet. But tests of the wastewater treatment plant effluent detected PFAS on two occasions, Campbell said. One test showed levels lower than permitted federal regulations. Another test showed levels higher than federal regulations.
Campbell said the state has been notified of the results. Campbell said the next step is to order additional sampling "to confirm the results and isolate the source of contamination."
According to the state, these chemicals have been used in many industrial applications and consumer products, including carpeting, water proof clothing, food paper wrappings, fire-fighting foams and metal plating. They are still used today.
Campbell said the initial plan is to sample the influent flows from the city's east, west and central belts. The sampling will begin in the next week or two.