Monitoring wells show village, twp. groundwater free of contamination

It’s okay to turn on the faucet and drink up because Oxford Township and Village’s groundwater supply is free of contamination.

That was the conclusion of test results sent to officials regarding the 18 monitoring wells the two municipalities have in place to detect the presence of pollutants in the groundwater.

“There is no degradation of groundwater quality due to volatile organic compounds at any of the monitoring locations, which would otherwise signal an approaching impact to the township or Hillcrest (condominiums) water supply wells,” wrote Daniel J. Whalen, an engineer with the Grand Rapids-based Williams & Works, in the township’s report.

The same was stated in the village report.

Volatile organic compounds (VOC) can find their way into groundwater via the spilling, leaking or improper disposal of substances such as gasoline or oil, industrial solvents and chemicals used in dry-cleaning.

At high levels, consumption of VOCs can have harmful health effects.

The township and village’s test results were based on samples obtained in September.

“There are no detectable levels of VOC contamination at any of the sampled locations,” Whalen wrote.

“That’s good news,” said township Supervisor Bill Dunn. “Ever since the water crisis in Flint, everybody wants to make sure the stuff they’re drinking isn’t going to make them sick. I don’t blame them.

“This report shows people our water is still safe. I know I’m glad. I drink it, too.”

Back in 2011, the township and village were awarded $21,127 and $24,975, respectively, in state grants to help protect their groundwater supply from contamination.

Using this money, the township and village had monitoring wells installed at key locations to detect the presence of pollutants that could migrate from certain potential sources of contamination such as industrial and commercial sites.

“This monitoring well system is intended to provide advanced warning of groundwater contamination, which could otherwise migrate towards and cause contamination to the township water supply wells and the surrounding aquifer,” Whalen wrote.

Although the two municipalities are served by separate water systems, they both pump their drinking water from the same ground.

“(Pollution is) going to go where it’s going to go. It doesn’t care if it’s township water or village water,” Dunn said. “That’s why we worked together on this to kind of keep an eye on things and get ahead of any problems before they happen.”

“We want to protect everybody as best we can and make sure our water stays clean,” the supervisor added. “The last thing we want to have is a bottled water drive for Oxford.”

In addition to the monitoring wells, water samples were also taken from the private well system that serves Hillcrest condominiums on W. Drahner Rd.

There were no detectable levels of VOC contamination there, either, the report stated.


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