Manufacturer releasing contaminants into West Michigan river

Wikimedia Commons, Cascade Dam

MIDDLEVILLE, Mich. — Residents can give their input on allowing a West Michigan manufacturer to continue releasing contaminants into the Thornapple River.

Bradford White Corporation, a water-heater manufacturer in Middleville, wants the Michigan DEQ to consider a “mixing zone.”

Under a mixing zone contaminated water would be allowed, only if concentrations of solvents in the river don’t exceed acceptable state regulations.

The public can comment on the request until Friday September 28th.

Currently the amount of contaminants the company has released are above the state’s regulations.


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  • Cindy herweyer

    Have lived just down stream from Bradford for over 40 years and during that time have seen and smelled contaminated water. They have no regard for the environment and helped push through a road that needed two bridges that went over the Thornapple river and a delicate wetlands. Yes they do employ many people, and that is how they get what they want. They threaten to move out if they aren’t allowed to do what they want. They are also dishonest and get what they want any way they can. We know because they did it to us through land fraud .

  • Fred Johnson

    Bradford White has absolutely no regard for the environment or the Thornapple River they only care about corporate profits and earnings for investors. This is a travesty that they are allowed to pollute and destroy such a beautiful river and ecosystem. Simply put. UNBELIEVABLE!!!

  • Donald Sterk

    The fact that bradford white is allowed to be do this is absurd. Can’t anyone do anything to stop them from this destruction of the river ?

    • Environment

      Not as long as they have the village in their back pocket and use fear in the employees minds. They’ve put lots of money into building growth, built private road, if they can afford to lose all that investment then they are selling their water heaters for too much, and they aren’t even that good

  • Clean Water Act 1972

    Bradford and White, I am the Clean water act of 1972. I was created 46 years ago because everyone was discharging wretched waiste into public waters. Oh boy, let me tell you it was bad. At that time I couldnt just turn off the water valves to all. So to keep things going I come up with a mixing zone regulation. The intent was to decrease the hazardous discharge by dilution until you can eliminate the polution through treatment or brain storming to eliminate polutant in all within your process. Your neighbors down stream are indicating descriptions of non compliant batch dumping. When I was created I had a flaw. I put regulations in place for you to comply with little to no actual monitoring. You know when composite samples are collected. You know what hours municipalities work. You for sure know dilution for the solution and I was not created for that purpose! Think outside the river. Dont abuse me anymore. Eliminate your discharge from the river.

  • BRAD


  • Minty Perrin

    We used enjoy fishing & swimming in the Thornapple River, but now you can go by where Bradford White is and there are several drains coming from there directly into the river. That doesn’t look good for the river.

  • TROY

    Let’s tell the village of middleville, barry county, the deq, the state of michigan and the united states of america that this is not acceptable! We demand clean water!!!


    The Clean Water Act (CWA) is the common name for the 1977 amendments to the Federal Water Pollution Control Act of 1972 (FWPCA). The objective of the CWA is to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the Nation’s waters. The 1977 law continued the FWPCA requirements to set water quality standards for all surface waters. It also established the basic structure for regulating discharges of pollutants into the waters of the United States and for addressing problems of nonpoint source pollution. The CWA gave the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) authority to implement pollution control programs and to delegate the authority to do so to states and Indian tribes. The 1977 law and several subsequent amendments also established funding mechanisms for construction of sewage treatment plants. Key Concepts Pollutants: Pollutants controlled by the CWA include garbage, sewage, dredged spoil, incinerator residue, chemical waste, biological materials, heat, radioactive materials, sand, rock, and industrial, municipal and agricultural waste. Because “pollutant” is so broadly defined, most activities that directly discharge materials into water bodies are regulated by the CWA. Whether or not the CWA regulates a particular discharge depends, however, on whether it is from a point or nonpoint source and what type of water body is affected.


    from what we hear every time someone try’s to stand up to bradford white they say if you don’t like it we will just leave and go to Mexico. What a great company. I’m sure Middleville is proud.

  • Michael Book

    I’ve lived in Middleville for a few years now and my parents have lived here their whole lives. I don’t like Bradford. Everyone that you talk to in town does not like them. In the middle of the night you can hear them and it always smells by the river where Bradford is. And I think its great to have bike path next to the river. But how stupid is it to put a road in for semis right next to that. If it where up to me. I would make them move somewhere else. No more dumping. Protect the nature that we have left.

  • Environment

    Why is everyone so upset? The environment can take care of itself! Pollute the land and waters all you want. So what if things become extinct, natural areas die off…it’s money that keeps the world together 🤣🤔

  • Dan Bowens

    Manufacturer releasing contaminants into West Michigan river is completely despicable! Bradford White is an example of what corporate greed and utter disregard for the environment & the entire Western Michigan community looks like. REPREHENSIBLE BEHAVIOR!


    UPDATE: Deadline for public written comment on Bradford White mixing zone is Sept.28
    Posted Thursday Morning by WBCH

    UPDATE: Friday, Sept. 28 is the deadline for written comments to be accepted on a Bradford White request for a groundwater-surface mixing zone discharge under the Environmental Remediation of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, according to a DEQ news release.

    The location of the venting groundwater plume is 200 Lafayette Street in Middleville, the receiving surface water body in the Thornapple River.

    Copies of the determination request may be obtained by calling or writing:

    David Wierzbicki, DEQ Remediation and Redevelopment Division,

    350 Ottawa Avenue, N.W. Unit 10,

    Grand Rapids, MI, 49503.

    Written comments should be submitted by the deadline to him at the above address.

    For information, contact:

    David Wierzbicki,

    Remediation and Redevelopment Division


    ORIGINAL STORY: Groundwater contamination with known carcinogenic chemicals is discharging into the Thornapple River and the responsible company in Middleville is asking state regulators to let dilution solve the problem according to an Mlive newspaper story.

    Bradford White Corporation, a water-heater manufacturer in Middleville, wants the Michigan Department of Enviromental Quality to consider a pollution exemption that would allow continued discharge of groundwater plumes contaminated with chlorinated solvents into the Thornapple River.

    Presently, the contaminant discharges are above the state’s Part 201 enviromental cleanup criteria, but Bradford White is asking the DEQ to allow a “Mixing Zone” in the river that would dilute the contamination.

    Village Manager Duane Weeks said he was unaware that Bradford White wanted to continue discharging contaminated water into the Thornapple River but knew the company was talking with state regulators about lowering levels of chlorinated solvents in the groundwater.

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