LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Jim Stamas on Friday 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.
Stamas, along with representatives from the District Health Department No. 2, went door-to-door to discuss information pertaining to the contamination plumes and what recourse they may have.
“The purpose of being in the community today was to make sure affected residents are aware of the contamination issue, and to make sure they are aware of their options going forward,” said Stamas, R-Midland. “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.
To help remedy the situation, the Legislature included a funding line in the 2016-2017 budget to go toward providing residents an alternative source while a permanent solution is in the works. 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.
“It is critically important that everyone have access to clean drinking water,” Stamas said. “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.”