Plainfield Township plans to extend water lines following contamination threat

Posted at 3:58 PM, Oct 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-19 15:59:00-04

PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. -- Property owners who only have access to well water in the Rockford and Belmont area may be pleased to learn that Plainfield Township Public Services is looking to give them an apparent cleaner option.

Given Wolverine Worldwide's numerous dump sites and apparent contamination coming to light, public works director Rick Solle said the township felt a sense urgency to act.

"Until this issue came about, we hadn't had any plans for extending water up in this area," Solle said.

He explained, "Our township board approved the engineering for a backbone system."

Solle said plans are now in the beginning stages for extending municipal water lines in Plainfield Township which will allow residents who get their water from a well to hook up to the township system instead.

He said the project costs is roughly "in the $4 million range. That doesn't include connection to individual houses."

The project would extend through 2018.

But for those who live in the expanded water testing area the DEQ announced Wednesday, Solle said municipal lines already exist in this area. So he said property owners still using well water could feasibly get hooked up to the township system fairly quick.

In the meantime, Solle said he's keeping an eye on the DEQ investigation and continuing to field concerns from property owners.

"We've had a number of phone calls even since this expanded area, questioning whether they're going to get tested if they're a water customer of ours," he said.

Solle continued, "We just need to make it clear to them that it's our understanding it's just the wells that are going to get tested."

Who will ultimately pay the proposed water lines? Solle said that remains to be seen.

As for the quality of the municipal water, Solle said it is tested regularly and is just fine. He said a small amount of Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) do show up in the water, but it's a negligible amount. In fact, he said the township stopped getting water from one particular well a few years ago because that well had concerning levels of PFAS.