Testing area for water contamination expands in Belmont area

BELMONT, Mich. - The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality is expanding an area for testing wells for possible contamination from former Wolverine Worldwide dumping sites.

The DEQ says the area on House Street is being expanded to include about 300 more homes bordered by Samrick Road to the west, Rogue River Road to the south and the Rogue River to the east.  The residential wells will be tested for Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl substances, also known as PFAS or PFCs.

House Street area map

DEQ Geologist Mark Worrall says in a news release that the expansion of the area is due to a further study of the geology of the area and further understanding of the PFCs.

Wolverine will be contacting residents for information and to sample their water.  The company will also provide bottled water while the tests are being conducted.

Some homeowners inside the newly expanded buffer zone say they're disappointed in Wolverine Worldwide.

“Real disappointed in Wolverine for not thinking past tomorrow," said Steven Roden, who lives on Pixley Ave. "Our kids come over here with containers and take our water home because they love our water."

Despite the investigation, Roden says they'll continue to drink from the tap until test results come back.

"We like our water. Until we hear the word we're just going to go ahead, and I hope it's not too stupid, but we're going to drink our water. We've enjoyed our water since we've moved in." Roden said.

Study area of possible contamination

Residents in the expansion area who would like to sign up for water testing are asked to contact GZA at 616-258-7234.

Wolverine Worldwide released this statement to FOX 17 Wednesday saying:

"The MDEQ has expanded the current well testing area to include additional homes south of the current House Street Study Area (“Southeast Expansion Area”) and extending to areas currently connected to municipal water supply. 
 Wolverine Worldwide continues to collaborate with local and state agencies and we are notifying homeowners on next steps. Samples will be collected swiftly and Wolverine is suppling bottled water to homes in the expansion area.
 We remain dedicated to transparency and proactively testing sites identified by the MDEQ so residents will have confidence in their water. To date, a limited number have been found to be over the EPA lifetime drinking water health advisory level, and precautionary tests for the Buffer Zone and Southeast Expansion Area will allow a more complete understanding of any possible impacted drinking water.
 To provide regular updates to homeowners and the public, Wolverine has established a dedicated site at www.wolverineworldwide.com/about-us/environment and any residents with questions are encouraged to contact the company at 616.866.5627."

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