Alternative water supplies available for Oscoda Township residents

I recently joined public health officials, area residents and local leaders to discuss the ongoing issue of groundwater contamination that stemmed from the former site of Wurtsmith Air Force Base.

I went door-to-door in Oscoda Township with representatives from the District Health Department No. 2 to ensure affected residents are aware of the contamination issue and their options going forward.

Most area residents are eligible for an alternate water supply through funding in last year’s budget cycle, and I encourage all residents to explore this possibility.

The issue began in early 2016 when the Department of Health and Human Services sent some homeowners near the former Wurtsmith Air Force Base letters concerning tests of their well water. The tests indicated that perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) were present in the water, and they were advised against ingesting or cooking with it.

It is critically important that everyone have access to clean drinking water, and I have been working with representatives from the health department, meeting with federal officials and speaking with constituents as we search for a permanent solution.

While a permanent solution is worked out, I worked to include funding in the 2016-17 budget to provide residents an alternative source. Residents who received a notice could be eligible for an alternate water supply — either a reverse osmosis filtration system or an in-home water cooler at no cost.

Affected homeowners also have the option of opting into the township of Oscoda’s municipal water line. If a resident chooses not to take a filtration system or water cooler, the funds could assist property owners with tap fees related to accessing the municipal public water supply. The township is currently working to install a new water main down Van Etten Dam Road, Forest Drive and into the Whispering Woods trailer park.

Residents seeking an alternative supply, or who are interested in tapping into the township’s water line, may contact the District Health Department No. 2 at 989-343-1852.