The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality began a statewide initiative earlier this year to test public water sources throughout the state for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances — also known as PFAS. Testing was conducted in Isabella County Oct. 18, and initial reports from the MDEQ indicate sample results could be received within four to six weeks of that date.
PFAS are manmade chemicals commonly found in industrial applications and consumer products, including carpeting, waterproof clothing, upholstery, nonstick cookware, personal care products and firefighting foams. In recent years, experts have become concerned by the potential effects of high concentrations of PFAS on human health.
>> Michigan DEQ health information related to PFAS
If high levels of PFAS are found in the city of Mount Pleasant — Central Michigan University's water source — CMU has plans in place to ensure faculty, staff and students have access to clean drinking water until the issue is resolved, said Jonathan Webb, associate vice president for facilities management.
"The health and safety of our campus community is our No. 1 priority, so CMU officials have been working together to ensure we are prepared for any scenario related to PFAS water testing results," Webb said.
"We will continue to work closely with city and county officials and help to communicate results to the campus community. If necessary, we are prepared to take action to continue to protect the health of our faculty, staff and students."
CMU is working closely with city officials on this effort.
The statewide water testing effort is led by the multiagency
Michigan PFAS Action Response Team, which launched in 2017.