Sparta takes nicely offline on account of low PFAS ranges

SPARTA, Mich. (WOOD) — The northwest Kent County village of Sparta has stopped using one of the wells that feeds its municipal water system after tests found it contained a small amount of the chemical at the center of a toxic tap water crisis in nearby townships.

A Friday release from the village said Well #2 had about 3.3 parts per trillion PFBS, a member of the PFAS family of chemicals. That’s well below the federal advisory limit and recently-set state standard of 70 ppt.

Well #2 was taken offline until the village learns more about the results mean for water quality. The village says it reached out to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and is waiting on advice on what to do moving forward.

The system is still pulling water from three other wells — #3, #4 and #5 — which were not found to have any chemicals.

Sparta says it’s keeping an eye on the water system. It says it will post the water testing information on its website and will provide online updates as it learns more from the DEQ.

“The Village’s goal is to provide the highest quality drinking water, be as transparent as possible about this process, and provide information as it becomes available to citizens,” the Friday release read in part.

Anyone with questions can contact Village Manager Julius Suchy at or 616.887.8251

Sparta tested the wells after residents expressed concerns about PFAS, a likely carcinogen also linked to other illnesses. Dozens of residential wells in nearby Plainfield and Algoma townships have been found to have PFAS levels above 70 ppt — some much higher.

No nearby municipal water systems have been found to contain high levels of the chemical. Regardless, Plainfield Township plans to spend up to $400,000 for filters aimed at bringing the low level of PFAS in the system to zero.

Inside Complete coverage of the toxic tap water investigation

PFAS can be found in many things, but the source of the contamination in Kent County is believed to be waste from Rockford-based shoe manufacturer Wolverine Worldwide that was dumped decades ago. Much of the contamination has been discovered near the company’s landfill on House Street NE.

This week, test results found high levels of PFAS in the blood of a woman who has lived for more than two decades across the street from the House Street dump and whose well has the highest level of the chemical found so far, as well as the blood of a…

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