PARCHMENT - The residents of two southwestern Michigan communities have been told to stop using their water for drinking or cooking after the discovery of high amounts of industrial chemicals.
Michigan and Kalamazoo County health officials announced Thursday that the water supply of the city of Parchment and Cooper Township is contaminated with perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, known as PFAS. The chemicals have been used in manufacturing, firefighting and thousands of household and consumer products.
The contamination's source is under investigation.
Authorities say boiling water or using common residential filters won't remove PFAS. People can bathe and wash clothes, however.
Parchment officials said they are implementing a short-term solution within the next day or two. The Parchment water supply will be drained and they will hook up to the City of Kalamazoo water supply. The Kalamazoo system will then be used to flush the Parchment system until the PFAS levels are below the health advisory level.
The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Michigan State Police, and the Michgian PFAS Action Response Team (MPART) have been directed by Governor Rick Snyder to assist operations.
“Our first priority is the health of residents in the Parchment and Cooper Township area and to ensure they have access to safe drinking water, a plan for which is already being executed by local agencies with state assistance,” Snyder said in a release.
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