Test results expected at Robinson Elementary after high levels of PFAS in water

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. -- Another PFAS scare  is happening in West Michigan. The latest investigation is at Robinson Elementary School in Grand Haven after high levels of PFAS were found in the drinking water.

Those test results came back Monday, prompting school officials to notify parents and turn off the fountains and switch to bottled water. A truck load of 33,000 was delivered to the school.

“All of our drinking fountains have been turned off and are non-operational, [so] there is no risk in anybody mistakenly using a drinking fountain. Lots of students have their own drinking bottles ,” says the superintendent of Grand Haven Area Public Schools, Andrew Ingall.

School officials are taking a very precautionary approach with this and are waiting for a secondary test to confirm the initial results of PFAS levels which showed over 100 parts per trillion, which is well above the Environmental Protection Agency's advisory of 70 parts per trillion.

“We’ve given our assurance that [the] school is operational and bathrooms are in use. The water is okay for hand washing, we can wash dishes with it. We’re just not cooking with it and students and staff can’t consume the water,” says Ingall.

PFAS are part of a group of chemicals previously used in manufacturing and fire fighting products and have been linked to health problems like cancer.

“We want our kids and our community to be safe and healthy and have great productive long-term lives. We’ll do everything we can to mitigate the issue and move forward,” says Ingall.

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality says it took three samples Monday from Robinson Elementary, a day care across the street, and from the nearby fire department. The results of all three tests are expected Wednesday morning.

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