Ann Arbor’s Gelman Dioxane Plume to be Remediated in Landmark Agreement

Local officials in Ann Arbor announced a proposed settlement after years of fighting in court for better cleanup of the Gelman Dioxane Plume. A more aggressive plan includes thorough monitoring of the plume’s expansion through the city’s groundwater and treating pollution at the source. Gelman Sciences is to blame for the polluted water.

Washtenaw County Board Chairman Jason Morgan said, “This is a monumental moment in our 40-plus-year effort to clean up the Gelman dioxane plume. We finally have a new proposed consent judgment and have made the documents public. This is a big deal.”

Polluter Gelman Sciences would be required to install new groundwater extraction wells to remove dioxane pollution from the environment, as well as more monitoring wells to further investigate the migration of the toxic chemical, with new trigger levels for taking action. They would also be required to install two new remediation techniques to increase removal of dioxane in the ground at the source off of Wagner Road in Ann Arbor.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classifies dioxane as a carcinogen by all routes of exposure. It can cause kidney, liver, and respiratory system damage. Just a few Parts Per Billion (ppb) in drinking water with long-term exposure poses a one-in-100,000 cancer risk, according to the EPA.

The proposed settlement formalizes the state’s newer standard of 7.2 ppb down from 85 ppb level of dioxane in drinking water.

The dioxane plume was first discovered in the 1980s, originating from Gelman’s filter manufacturing complex, and it has plagued the groundwater ever since. Gelman Sciences has done little to remedy the situation beyond pump-and-treat remediation. The plume has spread for miles, including east into Ann Arbor city limits, causing fears it could poison the city’s primary drinking water supply, Barton Pond, in addition to many wells.

For further reading, the Gelman Proposed Settlement Documents are on the city of Ann Arbor’s website. To protect yourself and your family from dangerous chemicals found in drinking water, contact the experts at Reynolds Water Conditioning today.

Reynolds Water Conditioning was established in 1931 and is Michigan’s oldest water conditioning treatment company. Still owned and operated by the Reynolds family, we take pride in providing the highest quality products at a cost-effective price. If your tap water lacks the quality you deserve, contact us today at www.reynoldswater.com or call 800-572-9575.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

EPA Announces Regulation for PFAS

Last month, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that they would begin to regulate a category of chemicals known as PFAS. PFAS’s are linked to cancer and other health issues that can be found in the environment and the human body.  

Environmentalists have voiced their concerns that Trump’s EPA administration have procrastinated with environmental regulations rather than steadfast on issues. Currently, the EPA recommends water should contain 70 parts per trillion (ppt) of PFAS or less; however, this amount is not mandatory. Many health officials argue this number is still too high. 

The next step will be a lengthy process entailing two long years with agency debates to determine a consensus on new contamination level standards. Once a consensus has been reached, the agency will have another 18 months to finalize the drinking water requirements. The EPA will create two drinking water standards during this process. The first standard will be heavily based on health considerations, and the second will focus on financial investment obligations. For more information about this EPA update, read this article.



New Study Shows Danger of Chlorine in Drinking Water

During a new study, researchers at John Hopkins University have found unintended and toxic byproducts during the cleaning process of water with the use of chlorine. The chemical, chlorine, has been used for over one hundred years to disinfect water supplies, and no doubt it has had positive benefits that have saved millions of lives from diseases like typhoid and cholera. According to this study, when chlorine is mixed with phenols, which is a naturally occurring compound in the environment, a large amount of byproduct is made. Further research is needed to find these actual byproducts inside our drinking water and determine if a new method should be sought to disinfect our water. To read more about this study, click here

Water Filter System Must Haves

Tap water in the U.S. is the most tested and regulated water source. Unfortunately, our tap water can still contain chemicals, such as fluoride, chloramines, and other pollutants that are not ideal to consume, cook with, or bathe in. A water filtration system is the best solution to give your home safe access to quality drinking water. According to this article, there are three items to take into consideration when choosing a water filter. The first being the filtration rate. It is important to know how much your daily water consumption is and choose a filter that will meet your daily usage needs. The second item to consider is water quality. There are many options to choose from, but a reverse osmosis system will give you the purest form of filtration, sometimes even removing helpful minerals from the water. Lastly, take into consideration your budget. Water systems with extensive filtration are generally more costly and keep in mind the expense of replacing water cartridges.  

What You Should Know About Hexavalent Chromium

Due to the rising attention given to the seeping of hexavalent chromium (or “green goo”, as called by area residents) in Madison Heights, MI, it is important to understand how you can protect your family from such dangers should they arrive near your home.

What is Hexavalent Chromium?

While the hexavalent chromium (made famous in the movie Erin Brockovich) seepage in Madison Heights poses little health risk to residents due to differing drinking water sources, it is important to understand exactly what this health risk is and what it can do to you and your family. Hexavalent chromium, according to this OSHA article, is one of the valence states (+6) of the element chromium, usually produced by an industrial process. Cr(VI) is known to cause cancer and targets the respiratory system, kidneys, liver, skin, and eyes.

What Can be Done to Prevent This?

What happened with the Electro Plating Services building in Madison Heights was the result of gross incompetence with waste disposal by the owner and thus posed a huge risk to residents who are Ill-equipped to deal with such contaminants when the seepage was discovered, as reported in this WXYZ article. A net positive with this unfortunate incident is the growing awareness of how to deal with potentially harmful contaminants in your home’s water going forward. One proven combatant to contaminants like Cr(VI) is reverse osmosis, which sends water through a thin membrane that naturally filters particles too small to be filtered through prefilter systems located within the overall reverse osmosis filtration system. By installing a system like this in your home you’re able to keep harmful contaminants, not only Cr(VI) but a vast quantity of other similar agents, out of your home’s water and keep your family safe.

Reynolds Water is the best local source that provides you with a variety of filtration systems to keep your family safe. Give us a call and we can hook you up with the right system for your family at the best price in the area.

Mysterious Water Leakage

A peculiar instance of water testing is scheduled for this Friday on mysterious green-colored water that oozed out onto eastbound Interstate 696 in Madison Heights a week earlier. According to this Detroit News article, the groundwater is believed to be contaminated with hexavalent chromium, which produces the green color that had onlookers scratching their heads. Due to the potential danger of this contamination, especially the possibility of local rivers and lake contamination, action is being taken immediately to remedy this situation to keep nearby residents safe. The origin of the water is believed to be from the Electro-Plating Services plant located nearby, which incidentally would not be the first time the plant has been in the news for water-related incidents. Results of the testing are scheduled to be released on Friday.

The experts at Reynolds Water Conditioning have a solution to your homes unique water quality needs including: arsenic, bacteria, chlorine, rotten egg smell, fluoride, hard water, iron, lead, acid, tannins, radon, and more.  More information on our water treatment solutions including water softeners and conditionerswater filtration and purificationreverse osmosis drinking water, and iron & odor removal can be found online at https://reynoldswater.com.